Monday, February 25, 2013

It's A Lalaloopsy Party!

 So last week we had a very special birthday party! 
Gigi turned 6!! 
She had asked to have a birthday party like her brother and sister, but instead daddy
and I decided she would have a few friends over.  Very low key. 
Except mommy was in charge, and I am always the hostess with the mostest. 
We started with who she was going to invite and couldn't narrow down the guest list of the 5 girls she wanted to invite.  So after asking daddy if it would be okay, we had 5 on the guest list. 
More than a "few". 
Then I let my little girl pick the theme of her birthday party. 
In the wave of Christmas gifts, her newest infatuation has been her little Lalaloopsy dolls, so Lalaloopsy it was. I can't tell you how many times I have explained what a Lalaloopsy is to daddy.
It is little dolls with a sewing theme.  (mommy is loving this!)
They have button eyes, and each doll comes with a little pet. 
For weeks she has been carrying around her Lalaloopsy dolls in her pockets to school, to church, and all the way to Ohio and back. 
I patted my girl on the back for an awesome theme for her party, and ran away with it. 
I kept in mind daddy said low-key and wasn't going to spend alot of money because we had just had Rosie and Bubba's birthday parties two months prior. 
So I tried to do it cheap and fun.  
Poor birthday girl, on her actually birthday Wednesday, she fell ill.
As I was walking into school with her birthday treats for her class, the school nurse calls my cell and tells me she has bad news.  She proceeds to tell me that Gigi had just gotten sick and was in her office throwing up.  I tell her I am outside and will be right in.  10 seconds later I am in the office and the nurse gives me the award for the quickest response time to a sick child. 
I sadly drop off the treats for the rest of the class with no cute picture of her handing out the treats, or picture of the birthday girl with her teacher, and I gather up my sick birthday girl and head home. 
I am pretty sure it was something in the school lunch that made her sick because the girl didn't have the flu.  She was perfectly fine when we walked in the door at home. 
Yes, she milked it and she got 7-up on the couch bundled up in blankets and the bucket right by her. 
But not even 15 minutes home she was asking for cookies and milk.  
So since her birthday was a bummer in the birthday extravaganza department, I wanted to make her birthday party extra special.  She was finally allowed to wear her Lalaloopsy dress I made on Saturday for her party.  As soon as she put it on she was full of
energy and bubbling with excitement. 
(my first attempt at making long sleeves on a dress and using elastic thread for the gathering)
I was taking pictures and she was giving me pose after pose, a complete natural in the spotlight.
{this girl has lots of sass!} 
{Gigi and her brother}
I had thrown together a few inexpensive decorations for the party.  I mean really cheap!!
I took some empty Starbucks frappucino bottles and made cute bottles decorated with black vinyl, ribbon, and buttons to hold princess wands and straws.  I cut cardboard circles out of an old diaper box and painted them with spray paint to make buttons to decorate the mantle and dining room. 
I had purchased a garland from target and crea paper to add a touch of "festive" to the room.
{Lalaloopsy decorations}
The parting gifts were bags of Hershey kisses and magic wands. 
Oh, and I put wraps on the water bottles to make them Lalaloopsy waters. 
(creative way to make the girls WANT to drink water!)
For all the decorations I cut up the packaging from the Lalaloopsy stuff she got from us, her aunts, and Mama Judy.  So we had Lalalopsy Everywhere!!
As a craft to keep the kindergartners busy, the girls and I had
hand painted wooden beads and we made necklaces and bracelets. 
Gigi got to practice on her sick day at home and helped me make sure logistically it was
going to work. 
She doesn't look very sick does she?
On the day of the party, the girls had a blast picking out each of their beads and stringing them on their necklaces and bracelets.  Another cute souvenir to take home. 
I didn't purchase a cake for the party. 
I made Gigi's little Lalaloopsy cake and then for all the girls we made
strawberry cupcakes with pink sprinkles. 
They were a hit!!  
{Make a wish}
{Goof Ball}
{Gigi and her friend Olivia} 
For 6 kindergartners we had to be creative to find things that were cheap and would keep them busy while they were here.  We had the bracelets/necklaces which took about 20 minutes, then we had some lalaloopsy coloring pages followed by snacks and cake and ice cream, but how to fill the other hour?  We played dress up relay. 
I had pulled out 3 pairs of heels, 3 scarves, and 3 oversized hats for them to dress quickly and then run around our house to the finish line.  It was a riot and I am impressed how well some of the girls walk in my heels.  They put me to shame.   
I know Daddy was watching the clock wondering when all the squealing was gonna stop, but I thought the time flew.  Before I knew it the parents were knocking on the door.  I had just 5 minutes to quickly pick up all the balloon remnants and crea paper that was thrown all over.  It looked like a disaster area. 
 I think this girl had a successful Party!! 
She can't wait for next year.  LOL 
 It was sew much fun!!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fairies Welcome

A week or so ago I mentioned that we made a fairy garden. 
Nate should never send me to the garden nursery.  I don't need an invitation to buy more plants, but he did and the rest is history. 
It all started with this cool container of "lost things" that Bubba found. 
We had watched Tinkerbell the night before and the gold metal objects in the jar were pretty cool.  I picked up the jar and pondered what we could do with this neat collection of things and made a executive decision (easy when Nate isn't there) to make an indoor fairy garden. 
I had plans to put a small "kid" garden in the backyard this spring with unique things and maybe a few fairy items, but I just couldn't wait.  After putting the jar of lost things in our cart, we went to go look at the large fairy garden section in the greenhouse.  I already had a pot at home in mind for the fairy garden so all we needed were a few unique plants.  Bubba picked out three small plants after a little coaxing from me on what not to pick and then he got to pick one fairy item.  He chose a delicate looking metal chair for our fairies. 
Here are the supplies we used for the fairy garden:
A shallow pot (already had at home)
potting soil (indoor potting soil is best)
plants (we chose some succulents which don't need much water)
Lost things
When choosing plants you would want to think of heights, textures, and colors. 
I tried to guide Bubba to different colors of plants but he didn't like them so at least we got different heights and textures somewhat.
 With help from the kids we put the plants in the pot with potting soil first.  We moistened the soil and added a little more soil so the plants wouldn't move around.  
The pot should not be drenched with water all the time.  I water the fairy garden when the soil is completely dry and don't use alot of water when I water.  Succulents are dessert plants so they like arid soil, not wet moist soil all the time.
Even the two year old was involved.  
 Then comes the fun part.  We place the rocks over the soil to create a kind of "floor" for the fairies. 
The kids didn't want to see any of the dirt. 
Then we took the lost things and placed them around the pot for Tinkerbell to find. 
The little chair was put in the pot too, perfect for Tinkerbell to take a rest. 
The kids have added a screw and a few of grandma Aggie's buttons to the pot too. 
They had a whole discussion about how the fairies are going to get in the house with all the doors closed and windows shut, but I love seeing them use their imaginations. 
So that is our fairy garden.  It is very small.... just like the fairies. 

Warm my Soul

We are back into the routine of our week after a fun 4 day weekend in Ohio. 
It is amazing how just a few days back at "home" can rejuvenate me. 
Talking over the phone with mom just isn't the same as
having coffee in the morning or a beer at night and just talking. 
The sunsets and sunrises are so pretty at my mom's house too. 
Occasionally we get a glimpse of a beautiful sunset at our house in the city, but
painted skies streaked with purples and pinks are abundant in the country at my mom's. 
 I wasn't prepared to pack for the trip though. 
Uncharacteristic for me, I waited to pack until the last day.  GASP**
This is the norm for most people but for me who starts pulling things out of the closets a week in advance, I felt unprepared.  Life got busy and soon it was Thursday and I had only packed 2 of the 5 of us.  Nate wasn't able to take the time off so he stayed home keeping my bed (and the recliner) warm.  So Thursday night after school valentine's parties and date night with my hubby, I tried to focus my mind on packing.  Two martinis made this impossible, so I forgot a lot of stuff this trip.  We survived anyway though.

 We were lucky to spend alot of time with my nephews and sisters this weekend. 
The boys came over with my little sister Friday night and I persuaded my sister to let my mom and I to babysit them on Saturday night while they had a party to attend.  It takes a while for my nephews to warm up to strangers (because that is what I am for the first couple hours since they only see me a few times a year) and then after that they will ask for help and not be so shy. 
Of course with my kids they are not shy.  All the kids were running around the house and
raising alot of dust in my mom's clean house.  Bubba was doing his best at teaching the boys all things boy-like.  Such as wrestling, the art of growling like a lion, and number one boy talent learning all the most annoying sounds in the world.  He's a good teacher.  I have never seen the boys so wound up.  My sister is going to hate me.   
They had their quiet moments where they would see how many kids fit under Mama Judy's desk....
 or playing lalaloopsy with Gigi's new birthday gifts...
or coloring.
These were intermixed with the not so quiet moments.

Ring around the Rosey...  
and our pajama dance party!!
We ended the night watching Dumbo.  Mom and I had the kids all arranged around the family room with pillows and blankets.  By 10 pm I had two of mine snoring, so I took my kids to bed and fell fast asleep before my sister and brother-in-law were even home.  Pathetic. 

Sunday morning we awoke to a light dusting of snow on the ground as we headed to church. 
It just made the sunrise even prettier.
 Sunday afternoon I spent over my in-laws.  The kids got to play with even more cousins and had fun playing dress up.  Megan had gotten into Grandma Edna's old clothes and every kid was wearing something fancy. 
 There was lots of cousin love going around.
 These two are growing up WAY too fast.

Nothing is better than cousin kisses!!!
On Monday I had to pack up our stuff and head out, but not before my sister brought out donuts and maple twists to mom's for breakfast.  The kids ran around using some energy up before sitting in the car for 7 hours. 
Mommy was a tired girl when we pulled into the driveway Monday afternoon, but a weekend back in Ohio is just what I needed.  Can't wait for Easter!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Because I love you

So our nontraditional Valentine's date was to...
No I couldn't get Nate to join me at a spa.  We went to a shooting range. 
Nate has been bugging me to go to the range with him to shoot his hand gun and
I have avoided it until now.  All the stars aligned with babysitter, early day because of Valentine's parties at school, and time. So I gave in and told him we could go as long as he takes me out to dinner afterwards.  Honestly I wanted to hate shooting the gun. 
The idea of a hand gun freaks me out. 
I have shot his shotgun before at clay targets and didn't do half bad, but the idea of a hand gun scares me.  He has coached me on how to handle it since we got it.  I've held it reluctantly and been told how to add the rounds, load the clip and put one in the chamber. 
But holding it loaded.... never had done that. 
I didn't like the idea of shooting at the targets that looked like people so we shot at the bullseye targets and targets that looked like a golf course. 
It made it more like a game and less like a deadly weapon. 
I expected to feel out of place at the shooting range. 
It isn't a place many go on Valentine's, right?
Wrong.  There were 3 couples there shooting together when we walked in. 
After a few coaching tips from Nate and a reminder not to close both eyes when I shoot, I was actually hitting the paper target.  My first 15 bullets hit the paper.  4 in the black!! 
Impressive showing first time around.  
The shots were so loud!  I wasn't ready for that.  I jumped every time the guy beside us shot his gun. 
Nate might have been a little embarrassed at my rookieness, but after a few rounds he changed his tune.
 {my Valentine}
I like to do new things, and this was definitely a new thing for me. 
 Check out my cool safety glasses and ear muffs.

We finished the night with a dinner at Symposium Cafe.  It was delicious.
It was nice to do something other than go Christmas shopping or a movie while we have a babysitter. 
Spending time with my hubby is the best and do you know how nice it was to have a conversation without an interruption? 
I hope you all found a way to celebrate that was as fun.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Spread the Love

I love Valentine's Day.  I know so many people don't like this holiday and
say it is a Hallmark holiday (pinting at you Nate), but I like the idea of showing your love.  I don't like the fact that all the
prices on flowers and chocolates are jacked up in the month of February, but I tell my husband not to get me a large bouquet now... I will take one any other day of the year though.  *wink wink*
He did get me a pot of tulips which I love. 
He surprised me last weekend and had the kids make mommy Valentine's cards. 
So Sweet. 
He even took pictures of them doing the cards and the determination on Lily's face as she colors
her card is priceless. 
I celebrate Valentine's the entire year. 
Little things here and there.  Love notes in kid's lunchboxes, special kid dates, and
telling them "I Love You" daily. 
But around Valentine's Day I usually step up my game. 
This weekend I got to go on two special dates with two of my kiddos.
On Sunday after church I had planned to take Bubba to a local greenhouse to get some plants.
He missed a boy scout outing where they did leaf rubbings and before he gets his Tiger Cub badge he had to cross off that elective.  So Daddy sent Bubba and me to the greenhouse.  Big Mistake. 
I couldn't just go in and steal some leafs off plants, even if that is what Nate said to do, so I let Bubba look at all the house plants and pick one he wanted to take home and pot up. 
He picked up a ZZ plant.  Very Cool.
This plant thrives on neglect, so if you are needing a exceptionally easy houseplant, pick up a ZZ plant.  Then as we are just doing a little browsing (always dangerous for this girl) we came across all of their fairy garden supplies.  Bubba was amazed at all the tiny chairs, benches, wheel barrows, and little toadstools. 
I caved and we came home with a few materials to make our own indoor fairy garden. 
More on this in a later post.
When we got home and unloaded our garden purchases, I had planned to go to the mall and go shopping for a cocktail party dress.  I was going to go alone but decided at the last minute to take Rosie because she needed some jeans and it would be easier if she tried them on. 
We walked into the mall with our purses over our shoulders (yep Rosie had to bring her purse just in case she found something she had to have!) and on a mission to find a dress and some jeans. 
I knew she tired of shopping quick so I decided to do my dress shopping first then surprise her with a stop at Justice to get her energy back. 
She was not impressed when I picked up more than one dress to try on.  With six dresses flung over my arm and still looking through the racks for anything else that might look flattering on, Rosie finally had enough and said I needed to stop and just try them on. 
The fitting room was interesting. 
Rosie is a really good critic.  A few of the dresses I picked out got vetoed right away with the comments she used to describe them.  One floral dress I didn't even try on after Rosie commented "Mom, if you don't like this one we should wrap it up for Grandma Pam because she likes flowers." 
Uh... that one was not for me. 
When I tried one dress on twice, I got the "you already tried that one on mom, don't you remember what it looks like?" 
It sped up my decision process. 
We ended up picking out new accessories for a dress I already had in the closet instead of buying a new dress.  A much cheaper option. 
Next stop was Justice.  My girl had a permanent smile on her face as soon as she walked into the door.  She saw one of her friends from school and they discussed what tape and hair ties to buy as I looked for a few items for her to try on.  This was our first fitting room experience for her. 
The usual routine is that I buy clothes bring it home, then she tries it on and I return what doesn't fit. 
I know what my girl likes so I picked out a few items that mommy approved and had enough bling for her to like.  Success!!  
 After trying on clothes wore us both out we headed to the food court for a lemonade and salted pretzel before going home.  It was good.  I don't think there was a lull in the conversation all afternoon.  She has so much to say.
When we got home we had a pretty relaxing family night watching Peter Pan, which is daddy's favorite Disney movie.  Daddy also treated us to a fun drink, grasshoppers sans alcohol.  The perfect touch was a thin mint as garnish.  I love that man.  Served in margarita glasses, the kids were on cloud nine.  It paired perfectly with our popcorn for supper.
The rest of the week we have had love and hearts galore on our mind. 
Rosie made this for a school project and it was so heart warming to see the wonderful adjectives she used to describe me.  Also she knows her mommy likes chocolate.
 The kids have worked diligently on their valentine's for their classmates. 
They each picked out their own Valentine's cards. 
Bubba picked Star Wars of course.
Gigi picked Lalaloopsy themed cards and even with mommy trying to
persuade her to pick ANYTHING else Rosie picked Justin Beiber Valentine's.  Ugh.
Rosie made her valentine box at school, Gigi had to make a valentine's bag and Bubba had to make his own Valentine's box.  We had fun creating his Darth Vader box. 
He spent alot of time making Darth's chest plate just perfect. 
It is complete with its own light saber.   
He was mad I didn't give it a head, but making a cape and arm out of an empty toiliet paper roll was enough I said.
 As the kids were doing their crafts, mommy was busy at work taking her role as room parent seriously.  We have Gigi's Valentine's party this afternoon and mommy created heart bingo cards as color coded instead of numbers and cut out crowns for the kings and queens of Kindergarten. 
I learned after the Christmas party that it takes Kindergartners twice as long to do anything so we are simplifying today's party.  I hope they have fun. 
We are ending our Valentine's week with a night out for mommy and daddy. 
Can you believe we found a babysitter on Valentine's Day? 
We are doing something a little unusual but it will be fun. 
No dinner and a movie for us. 
I am a bit nervous and slightly excited... will tell you about it soon. 
Happy Valentine's Day to all of you. 
I hope you all know how much you mean to me.
Hugs and Kisses