Monday, January 26, 2015

Cat party

Kara was so impatient waiting for her friends to arrive for her birthday party/sleepover. I however, was glad to have a little time to get everything ready. This is how the mouse hunt game turned out. I tried to blow up water balloons, but it was impossible, so I had to get regular balloons and partially inflate them. Ben actually blew most of them up for me. Then I drew mouse faces on them. The girls had a blast throwing the darts at them. The little green one in the center is the one water balloon that Ben managed to inflate. It was too cute not to include, so I made it extra points.  
When her guests arrived, they got to pick out their ears.
Then they choose a tail. These were easy to make. I just bought feather boas, cut them into smaller pieces, and attached a safety pin. They did shed like CRAZY. By about 30 minutes into her party, my carpet looked like there had been animals fighting on it.
We also got some face paint crayons, and set up a cat face station. Kiersten was not happy to let Kara borrow her mirror, and kept taking it back to her bathroom.
After they ate pizza, they got to choose their own kitten to adopt.
Kara wanted a big grumpy cat she saw online. Ben told her he wasn't willing to pay $40 for a stuffed animal, and she was so disappointed. So when I saw this one on clearance at Sam's Club for $15, I got it for her, but didn't tell her. I wanted to pull it out during the party, so it hid behind the sofa.
She asked for blue streamers and balloons for the fishing game. I knew she wanted the balloons mixed in with the streamers, but I thought that would hinder the fishing, so I placed them along the side.
There was also a station for making collars for their new kittens.
I had tons of dum dums leftover from Evie's 1/2 birthday at preschool, so I made a dum dum topiary.
I thought it looked pretty fun on the table.
She decorated the front door with cat and dog window clings. By the time her friends arrived, it was getting dark, so I don't know if anyone even saw them, but it made her happy.
They had a great time painting each other's cat faces.

She also wanted these mouse traps with stuffed mice caught in them. So I thought it would be funny to set them next to a plate of cheese cubes. I was a little concerned about the girls hurting themselves with the mouse traps, but they left them alone.

They really got into the cat theme, and all had a ball acting cat-like. There was a lot of meowing, hissing, crawling, and tail pulling.
All of the girls were excited to adopt their kittens. After each one chose their cat, I snapped their picture, and they officially named their kitty. I told Kara she had to go last to be a good host. When there was only one cat left, she told Evie, "sorry, you don't get to have one". But I told her she couldn't be rude, and that Evie got the cat. She started pouting, until I announced that I thought I had dropped one of them behind the sofa.
She was actually still pouting, but they all followed me in there, and I pulled out the big grumpy cat. At least half of the girls dropped their previously cherished kitties, and frantically started begging to have that one. I was surprised, because I assumed it would be obvious it was for Kara, but they all wanted it, and it got a little heated, before I said he was for Kara. Then they all started hurriedly gathering up their own cats again.
The dart game was a success, and one girl dominated enough that the results of the second round weren't going to matter. So a couple of the girls went wild just popping all of the remaining balloons, which made Kara cry. So I had to have a little talk with her, and remind her not to get upset when things don't go exactly as planned. The winners of the games each got a cat cup, so it's not like it was the most exciting prize in the world. The girl who won fishing was actually really happy with it. It was too crazy during the fishing game to take pictures. I was timing them, and replacing paperclips non-stop.
I colored the bottom of one of the suckers black, and had them go around taking out a dum dum until someone found the winning sucker.
I whispered to Evie what color the winning dum dum was, but she didn't find it. She was just happy to be included. Kiersten went to a friend's house with Ben, so she wasn't at the party. The winning sucker didn't get found until only about 11 remained. After it was found, a few of the girls started grabbing out the rest, causing Kara to get upset again. So I had them put them back so they could be evenly distributed.
The cat litter game was a riot. The first girl to play was very hesitant, but it heated up after that. I timed them for 10 seconds to get as many poops as they could. They were supposed to try not to get the rice krispies, but by the end the table was just covered. Some of the girls put the chocolates in their goodie boxes to take home. Not sure how that went over with the moms to find already opened candy in there.

She blew out the candles in one breath. I had her friend help put them on, and at the last second, noticed she'd placed 15 candles, so I had to hurry and pull some out.
She was very cute opening her gifts. They were all so eager for her to see what they'd given her, and she was most impressed by the cards. Some of them made very intricate and creative cards for her.
She was getting a little crowded, and some were complaining they couldn't see, so I had to keep telling them all to sit back down. But they'd be right back up for the next gift. So I started assigning them duties, such as "present stacker", "wrapping paper clean up", and "gift bag folder". One of them also got to be the gift hander outer with Evie. They all wanted to have that job, but I picked Amy because she was being super helpful and sweet with Evie the whole evening. She made sure Evie got included in everything. (she has 3 little sisters, so I wasn't too surprised)
There was just one tense moment when her friend gave her a set of "BFF" bracelets. Two of the girls immediately started to question why she was giving them to her, and I was about to step in and say something, but Kara handled it herself by saying, "Because we're best friends." Then she added, "You are all my best friends, which is why you're invited to my birthday party. Addison is just my very best friend, and the rest are also my best friends." One of the girls insisted, "well, I'm your  best friend that's in your class", and then the controversy died at that. The joys of 3rd grade girls.
After she opened gifts they were free to replay the games, watch movies, and help her enjoy her new things. It got a bit crazy, but it was fun. At 11, I made a rule of no more running or yelling, and I turned on a movie for those that wanted to go to sleep. A few of them stayed up really late, and I was going downstairs until 3:30 telling them to get back in bed. So I'm sure there were a couple of very tired girls the next day. It was actually kinda fun to wake them up just before 8AM. I made sure to wake Kara first, and predictably, the ones who fell asleep early were upstairs right away, and the late-nighters didn't show. So I sent Evie down to be her loud self, and they all came up after a few minutes. She requested pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream which went over pretty well. A few did ask for pancake syrup. Needless to say, I was in bed by about 7:30 that night, after being up so late trying to get girls to sleep. I spent most of Sunday relaxing, and I crocheted a cat for Kiersten since she was sad not to have adopted a kitty. She didn't get home from her sleep over til about 4PM, so I had plenty of time to make it for her.  It turned out pretty cute, I'll have to take a picture.

My Karalee turned 9!

Karalee's 9th birthday was on Saturday. I asked her if she was surprised to wake up to find her gifts and balloons. She said, "Not really, since you do that every year". So I guess I'm not as fun as I'd like to think.
Our morning was kinda busy. Luckily, she wanted pop tarts for breakfast, so that was quick, and then Evie had swim lessons and Kara had a basketball game. Her team lost pretty badly, but she said she still had fun, and I did notice she played more aggressively than normal. She wanted Jimmy John's for lunch, so that was also pretty quick, and then she opened all of her gifts before heading to her friend's birthday party. I actually almost forgot about the other party, because I got caught up in watching her open everything. Luckily, she was on top of things and reminded me in time to get there just a few minutes late.
Evie was very excited to have bought her own gift for Kara with her own money this year. She gave her something to put colored stripes in her hair and some barrettes.
Kiersten also spent her money on a gift. She gave her a leopard print hairbrush, which she loved.

She always gets mostly clothes for her birthday, since it's so soon after Christmas. But I tried to get things I knew she'd be excited about, and she seemed pretty happy with everything.

She was really happy about this leopard balloon. She clipped it to her pants and wore it all around the house. I was going to tie it to the mail box, but she was too worried about the possibility of it floating away.
For her "big" gift from us she got her own sewing machine. She's so excited to use it, and wants to make a shirt. I'm not sure she's ready for a shirt yet, but I guess we can try.
She also got a jewelry armoire, which I intended for her to keep in the closet, but she insisted she wants it by her desk so she can stare at it from her bed.
This is a rando, but I wanted to include a picture of the girls with their balloon animals they learned to make in their magic class. Kiersten really wanted to take another after school magic class, but it was going to be canceled due to low enrollment. So when the coordinator told me that they were only shy by one student, I went ahead and enrolled Kara as well. She's pretty busy right now, but seems to like the class.
I was overwhelmed with all of the things she wanted to do at her birthday party, so I made her help out with a few things. She wanted to have a fishing pond, so Ben bought some long dowels, and I had her paint those. I also cut out a bunch of fish for her to decorate.
She wanted to make cat cups, so I had her do most of that as well.
Making cat-pops. These are just oreos dipped in chocolate, and we pre made eyes and ears, so it was easy to put them together. Then I used some pink melting chocolate for the nose and mouth. I thought we could use shredded coconut to make whiskers, but she thought that would mess up the flavor.
The first one didn't work out, so I practiced my piping on it. She had to leave for basketball practice, so I had this waiting for her when she got back.
They were still cute without any whiskers. I made enough for all of her party guests to have 2, and Kiersten and Evie to have 1 each. There were lots of left over eyes and I planned to use them to make some other fun animals for the little girls, but they ate all the extra eyes, so that didn't happen.
I helped her with some of the faces. They turned out pretty fun, but I thought some looked more bunny-like than cat-like.
I had a fun idea for a cat face cake, but she saw a silhouette cake idea on pinterest, and really wanted that instead. It was actually really easy to make. Especially compared to the over the top smurf cake she requested last year. She also wanted it not to have a face, which Ben and I both disagreed with, but I wanted to make sure she got her way. This is just made from 2 round cakes. One of the easiest birthday cakes I've had to make.
She loved putting together this "litter box" with rice krispies, Hershey kisses, and tootsie rolls. She was able to do the whole thing herself, so that was great.
I laminated all of her fish, and we used paper clips so they could be picked up by the magnets on the poles. I wanted to use my eyelet setter to put some metal grommets on their mouths, but didn't have time. I wish I had because the paper clips kept falling off. I still might do those, so they can play with this game over and over. She refused to use the fish that Evie and Kiersten decorated, but I laminated them anyway so they could play later.
She was in bed, so didn't get to help me make these cat headbands. My friend showed me this idea on her phone when I told her I had to throw a cat party. They turned out pretty fun, and were cheap to make.
I made this big mouse hunt board to attach balloons for a dart throwing game. This was Kiersten's idea, and Kara was so excited to do it. I was less enthusiastic about it, but did it anyway. I did make her help with the coloring, because that took forever. Is it strange that I had to google a "wedge of cheese"  to figure out how to draw one? I also googled "cartoon mouse" for ideas, and you can imagine, that pulled up tons of Mickey and Minnie images. I didn't think she'd appreciate that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Just a warm January weekend

Since it was so cold the first few weeks of the year, we were all very excited to have a nice, warm weekend. It was even better that it fell on a 3 day weekend. The girls played outside every day, and boy did they need it. On Sunday we decided pick up lunch and head to the park.
I was surprised we were the only ones there, being the first non-freezing weekend for quite a while, but we did pick a less popular park.
My favorite thing about this picture is the look on Evie's face. I tried this out too, and it's pretty hard not to let your feet drag on the ground when you're taller than the bar.

Evie didn't want Ben to let go of her. She was elated as she rode to the end, then let go and cried when she fell to the ground. She stood up and immediately asked to ride again, like kids do.

I was asking Kara what was so fun about this toy, since she kept going back to it. It looked lame. So I tried it out, and was surprised it was actually pretty fun. Who cares if you look like a weirdo while playing on it?

Kiersten was nervous to slide down the pole, though I'm certain it's something she's done several times in the past.
I'm glad we were able to get out while the weather was nice. It's still pretty warm this week, so we'll have to try to take advantage again while we can.