Category Archives: Just For Fun

Bug’s Birthday Party

My younger daughter, Bug, turned 5 at the end of March, and had her first non-family birthday party. All of the girls from her class were invited, but only eight attended, which was the perfect number of girls, actually. Any more and it would have been overwhelming.

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The birthday girl with her crown and wand.

Bug requested to have her party at our house with a Sofia the First theme. I don’t dislike princesses, but most of the ideas I found online were either inappropriate for a 5 year old or glossy magazine fabulous.  I figured I could come up with something more realistic for 4 and 5 year old girls, and more fun for me to plan.

I ended up with 7 activities, and we made it through 5 of them. I over-planned on purpose because you never know how quickly or slowly kid will go through a given activity.  The girls alternated between the activities I planned, and playing in the living room with a bunch of balloons.

Hands down, the girls’ favorite activity was the slime (princess slime, of course).  All of them banged on the table, chanting “slime! slime!” until I brought out their choices. I ended up making a batch for them because they wanted to see how gross it looked before the ingredients coalesced.  We ended up less than 10 minutes of partytime left for cake, and even then I had to pry them away from the slime (with the promise they would be taking some home) before they would eat cake.


As the girls arrived, they went to the party table to decorate crowns and wands. This kept most of them occupied for about 15 minutes.

When most of the girls were finished, I set up our next activity – spinner art crowns and castles (idea from Babble Dabble Do). This was a popular activity, with all of the girls doing at least three different pieces. All but one girl lost interest at that point. She decided to keep making spinner art while the other girls played with balloons in the living room.

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Spinner art crowns and castles. Put the paper in the bottom of a salad spinner, add paint, put the lid on and spin.

I let the girls play with balloons for a little bit, then corralled them back into the party room to play pin the amulet on Sofia. They went back into the living room to play with balloons once they all had a turn at the game.

Glitter bracelets (idea from Babble Dabble Do) were made throughout the party. One or two girls would wander over and my step-mom would help them make a bracelet. Use only a very small amount of glitter, or it will glob up and get stuck. Also make sure to leave a little bit of air after adding the water.

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All you need is clear plastic tubing from Lowe’s, epoxy, water, and decorations. We made our own funnels from construction paper (funnels are a must for the glitter). The girls chose from several different colors of glitter, small pearl beads, small gemstones, and small glass beads.

The highlight of the party? Princess slime (recipe from Learning Through Playing, and troubleshooting help from Fun at Home with Kids). Elmer’s glue is a must – it really does make a difference in the quality of the slime if you use a different brand. For the different colors, I used these liquid watercolors. To get the shimmer on the purple slime, I used the Make It Shimmer additive.

princess slime

Upper left: white glue, fine iridescent glitter. Upper right: white glue, fuschia liquid watercolor. Lower left: clear glue, fine magenta glitter, magenta liquid watercolor. Lower right: white glue, violet liquid watercolor, shimmer additive.

*Treasure crowns (idea from Growing a Jeweled Rose). These ended up being sent home with the girls in their goodie bags.  They were incredibly simple to make – baking soda, water, liquid watercolor, and fine glitter. I filled this mold up halfway with the mixture, added three mini gems – clear, lilac, and light pink, and filled the mold to the top.  The treasures really need to be done a few days in advance to make sure they are thoroughly hardened. They tend to be crumbly otherwise.

treasure crown

Squirt vinegar onto the crown using a pipette, and watch as treasure is revealed.

The one activity we didn’t get to was decorating fans using pipettes and liquid watercolors. I have them tucked away to be used at some point in the future.


Happy 7th Birthday, Bean!

How fast the time flies…

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…and yet, they still can’t give you a real smile upon request. (Bean decorated the cake herself.)

Except when one of the gifts they were given results in this:

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Blood & Butter

Because everything goes better with butter. I guess. Except for “bad mom” moments. Like when you’re in another room checking your email, and you completely disregard your daughter who’s yelling that the nameless little boy is pushing buttons on the microwave (meaning, he’s pushed a chair over to the counter, climbed up, and is now standing on the stove).

Then you walk back into the kitchen to see said little boy holding a chefs knife with a huge glob of butter on it. And blood all over the front of the microwave. Mother of the Year for this one.  And to an extent Big Sister of the Year as well for thinking that pushing buttons was more critical than playing with chefs knives.  I would have come running for that one.

So, I screech, yank the knife out of the boy’s hand, pick him up, and rinse off his hand (since it’s covered in blood) to try to find where he cut himself. I looked all over him and never found the source of the blood. There was nary a cut anywhere. So he somehow managed to smear a lot of blood on the microwave from an invisible nick.

Once the “thank god I don’t have to go to the emergency room for yet another child’s injury” moment passed, I surveyed the damage. Blood on the microwave, blood on the butter, butter in the blender, butter in the silverware holder that goes in the dishwasher, and butter on and in the knife block. It had been a fresh stick of butter (and by golly, I wasn’t going to let it go to waste). I managed to salvage most of it, rinsing or scraping off blood as needed, and put it back on the butter dish. I don’t think I managed to get all of the knife block crumbs out of it, but oh well…what’s a few more scraps of plastic?

When DH got home that night, I handily waited until he was buttering some toast before I told him what happened. The pained expression that crossed his face was priceless. Generally, he’s very stoic and does not show any kind of outward emotion.  He stopped buttering and asked if it was safe to eat. Of course! I said. I rinsed/scraped off all of the blood. You’ll be fine. He just shook his head and ate his toast.

Daddy’s Version of First Aid

Last week started a new quarter at Bean’s co-op. She goes once a week and takes Art, Spanish, P.E., Geography (specifically learning about the States), and one rotating unit. This quarter, that unit will cover safety awareness/preparedness.

Bean brought home a three page checklist for disaster preparedness. DH sat down with her to go over the list. One thing lead to another, and he pulled out his combat medic kit. My only experience with it in the past has been to repeatedly say, “NO! I do not want you to practice putting an IV in my arm!” or “NO! That tube is going nowhere near my nose!”

But for Bean, the kit was love at first sight. The rest of the evening was spent learning how to wrap bandages. It included periodic yells of “Help! My leg!” ….or insert any other body part in there. It also included torturing the baby, who was easily captured and wrapped. Bean perfected wrapping a stomach injury on him, much to his dislike.

Because of her evening of fun, she now wants to be a vet tech.

And she created her own medic’s bag with all of DH’s bandages. We’ll see how long that lasts until I start finding items shoved into and under my couch.

Bandaged Bean and Rosavelt (the pink dolphin).

One of many reasons why I think my kid is awesome

A little bit of back story first since anyone who knows me knows that I am not hip to current technology. My cell phone has no camera and I’ve had it since 2007. We recently replaced my husband’s bought-in-Germany-in-1999 television with a non-converter-/adapter-needing television gifted to us by a friend’s mother. This “new” set is several years older than our German one. Moving up in the world.

So. This brings us to why my kid is so awesome. Upon choosing her spaceship today for the iPad app, Rocket Math (Catch that? We’re jumping from TVs that are from the previous millennium, to a new iPad; recently gifted to us), Bean raced into the kitchen squealing, “Momma! They have Doctor Who’s spaceship, except that it’s red!” To which I pointed out that the name of his spaceship is the Tardis, and to which she replied that she was going to choose the red Tardis. And that is why my kid rocks.