8.14.2014

A wonderfully Frozen 5th Birthday


It's the end of the summer and at the top of my "MUST FINISH BEFORE I GO BACK TO WORK" is writing Hazel's birthday post!  This was our first "invite friends" party and it was a BLAST!

It started with an invitation:

Before someone calls me out for being a crook and a cheat, let me admit...that I AM!  I used someone else's card design and edited it myself.  Not the right thing to do, but I did it.  I get so much pleasure out of all the party prep work, so I justified it.  However, if you want to use the design, I highly recommend paying the actual artist (link), plus mine didn't look as nice when it printed...quite pixilated and grainy.


Here is a brief description of the party with TONS OF LINKS for further inspiration and tutorials:
  • We used white streamers with styrafoam balls to make icicles throughout the house.  
  • I printed these signs to hang around (the one over the present opening chair says "some people are worth melting for", the one on the woodstove says "the cold never bothered me anyway".  cracks me up!). 
  • I ordered the Elsa and Anna dolls online.  Elsa was holding a card for Hazel letting her know that she was sending Hazel a matching dress, but it didn't arrive in time for the party (sigh).
  • My husband made a Pin the Nose on Olaf game (coincidentally on the back of the "cow jumped over the moon" picture he made for the Goodnight Moon Party).  
  • I made two types of fake snow (this one  and this one.  I don't have a preference over which recipe...and of course the kids quickly mixed them.  But they were a lot of fun to play with!).  
  • We used pom pom streamers and sticks to make icicle wands.  Perhaps my only original idea :)
  • We made crowns (here.  didn't print on cardstock and let the kids use way too much glitter glue, so they weren't wearable). 
  • We did the epsom salt painting (here.  note: the thicker the mixture, the more obvious the crystals will be). 
  • The night before, Hazel and I made these snowflake barrettes.  I intended this to be one of the crafts we made during the party, but intricate cutting and hot glue just aren't toddler friendly activities, so we made them all ahead of time!  Glad we did a trial run :)
  • In addition to princess puzzles and Frozen storybooks, I had a coloring quiet station to help the kids keep from getting overstimulated (GREAT in theory, in reality, they wanted to be at every station all at the same time).  I printed these coloring pages and mazes.
  • We played a "hot potato" type game to disperse the snow barrettes and frozen charm bracelets that were our guest gifts.  We listened to "Let It Go" and grabbed a charm/barrette each time we heard the refrain.  (Again, great in theory... a little too tricky for 5 year olds).
  • I should mention that I follow the rule of "as many friends as your age" when it comes to parties.  So, she was allowed to invite 4 friends plus her sister (aka her BFF for life).
  • After the food, the girls changed out of their Princess dresses and we played ice games!  Inspiration here.  I had one bajillion ideas of activites to do with the ice, but by this time, the girls were really wanting just to PLAY and frolic together.  It's always better to have too much planned, than too little!

Now onto my favorite part... THE FOOD!
  • I used these labels and styrafoam balls cut in half to hold the signs.
MENU:
  • True Love Sandwiches (aka PBJ with a heart imprint)
  • Frozen Grapes (next time I'll cut them in half before freezing)
  • Snowballs (powdered donuts)
  • Snowman eyes (black beans)
  • Snowman noses (carrots)
  • Snowman arms (pretzel sticks)
  • Edible Icicles (snow cones)
  • La piece de resistence:  Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Snowflake cookies!  A local woman makes these delicious sugar cookies and when I saw her Frozen cookies, I knew that this party would NOT have cake!  These were a really fun way to celebrate Hazel's favorite movie!  Before the party, I prepared a special Celebrate plate and tea light to bring the cookie to Hazel while we sang "Happy Birthday".  But in the spirit of the moment, I completely forgot... so Heidi and I sang to her after everyone went home when I realized my mistake :)


aaaannnnddd... one last collage (because I can't resist and there are a few more gems I want to share).

  • Princess Hazel with her icicle wand... I LOVE this picture!  
  • Hazel opening her presents...wish I could bottle that joy!  Also her feet... she's still so tiny and her toes are adorable.
  • Sending all the princesses down our zipline!
  • Pin the nose on Olaf was a highlight of the party!  For the record, Heidi rarely wears pants...she's 3...and stubborn.
  • Hazel's new helmet.  Granted, I accidentally bought a snowboarding helmet, so this one just got returned and it was replaced by a similar, but less insulated unicorn helmet :)


8.02.2014

My clown 3.0


This girl fills my heart with more joy than I ever thought possible.  Granted, she's NUTS-O, but being brave and adventurous are traits we admire in this household!  From the get-go, she has loved to make us laugh and she does it SO well!  She's also my calm girl, always keen for a cuddle and face snuzzle.

She is beginning to surprise me with her insights, memory and imagination.  The other night as I carried her from my bed (where we often have her fall to sleep because otherwise she TALKS AND TALKS and keeps her sister awake), she woke up and gazed into my eyes in that adoring, pure way that only a small child can achieve and I said "You are so beautiful.".  Then, as I often do, I added the question, "Is it more important to be kind or beautiful?".  (My fear is that my kids hear praises on their looks so often that they will become vein and misguided.)  She wisely answered "Kind" and then added "but I'm both!".  True, true my sweet clown.

Jake and Hazel are endless balls of energy, more keen to literally run around than to be still.  Heidi is more like me, enjoying active time, but more keen to snuggle on the couch with a good book or tv show.  She still sucks those two fingers ALL THE TIME and her bunny is more and more a permanent companion.

Last night she was having trouble sleeping and as I climbed into her bed for the third round of snuggles, I wrote about her in my head, as I often do.  If only those words were kept somewhere so I can share them in their entirety. 

I climbed into her bed and she immediately whispered (in her whisper that is impossibly quiet):  "Will you scratch my back".  This is a request she gives many times a day.  Then she clarifies the request with, "use your lion paws".  Sometimes this means hard scratching and sometimes that means gentle scratching, but fortunately I've learned that she simultaneously gives her bunny a "lion paw back scratch" and I can mimic what technique she is using.

It also occurs to me that she hasn't completely lost her babyness.  She isn't a passive cuddler, oh no!  While I'm snuggling her, one hand has her fingers in her mouth while the other rubs my cheek/arm/wherever she can reach.  One of my favorite things about babies is how they don't yet realize that their feet are not hands.  When snuggling, Heidi's feet and toes revert to their babyness and join in on the snuggling.  The silky smooth pads bury their way into my skin and join in with the gentle touches.

Since I never shared the pics from her 3 year old shoot...here's a little recap of the past 3 years:



1st Birthday:  She's A Peach Party


2nd Birthday:  Goodnight Moon Party


3rd Birthday:  Penguin Party

This year will mark an exciting change for Heidi as she attends Toddler Time school 2 days a week and joins her sister in gymnastics and swimming lessons.  One thing is for sure, she will keep us laughing and snuggling all the year through!