Sunday, March 29, 2015

Every Child is an Artist

     My sweet baby girl is 6 years old now.  She turned 6 on Thursday, and we celebrated with family and friends yesterday.  She had a Rainbow/Art Party this year, although for a while there I thought we'd end up doing a Frozen shindig.  She changed her mind at the last second when she realized an Art Party would involve actual paint.  We had fun stocking up on goodies at Michael's for the event.  They had canvases on sale, so I grabbed a few packages.  I also bought a pair of easels, and the kids took turns using them to paint their masterpieces.

While a couple of kids were working on their paintings, I'd take another aside to paint his or her face.  I found this awesome face paint kit on Amazon (you can also find it at Michael's).  It comes with a book of instructions, but they're pretty ornate, so I just found some simple designs on Pinterest.  I did balloons for the boys and rainbows for the girls.  It was fun for me to have something to do other than play hostess.

     As far as decorating went this year, I really phoned it in a bit.  My sister made the adorable banner that hung over the gift table.

I printed a couple of pretty images and framed them to decorate the same table.

I threw up a few streamers in basic colors by the food table, and called it a day.

     The food was much more fun.  First I made sugar cookies using this recipe, and I cut them out to look like little painter's palettes (I used an Easter egg shape to cut out the main shape, and then a small circle to cut out the hole).

Next I used cookie icing to dab little blots of "paint" onto each palette.  After that, I made "paintbrushes" out of pretzels rods dipped into white chocolate that I had tinted different colors.  Then I popped popcorn and had Monkey help me assemble little cones out of construction paper and labeled them "Pop Art".

Then I put together a fruit tray, making sure to include every color of the rainbow.  I used red apples, oranges, pineapple, green apples, blueberries, and red/purple grapes.  I loved this because you could interchange so many fruit for the colors.  You could do green grapes or kiwi for green.  You could substitute strawberries or raspberries for red, and so on.

I kept it simple with "Van Gogh's Veggies" by simply purchasing a vegetable tray.

I meant to have "Paint Chips and Dip", but I forgot to put them out :-/  Oh well.  Finally, for the punch, I froze Koolaid into ice cubes in every color of the Rainbow.  I placed the ice cubes in my big drink dispenser, and I poured Sprite over the top of it.  It looked pretty cool, but I was worried as it melted it would make an ugly brown or blackish color, but I actually got more of a purple, which wasn't too bad.

I found these cute rainbow swirl lollipops at Walmart and used them as party favors.

Lastly, I went the easy route and bought a cake at Walmart.  Although there are some really cute ideas  on my Pinterest board.

    All in all this birthday felt a tad simpler, but it was very pleasant.  Monkey seemed to enjoy herself immensely!  She has been playing with all of her new toys and crafts.  In fact, as I'm typing she's making clay figures with a clay craft pack she received from one of our guests.  I can't believe she's six.  I know I go through this every year, but 6 is just older.  She's a little girl; she's in school.  She wants to play at the park with her friends more than hang out with me and her daddy.  She's got her own personality and opinions, and they're not always in line with mine.  She's so confident and vivacious.  She's her own person, and she's not ashamed to be herself.  I admire and love that about her.  I hope as the years pass she doesn't lose that ability to be herself, 100%!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Miss Frizzle Goes to Kindergarten

     Yesterday was Dr. Seuss' birthday, and in celebration of that day, my daughter's school encouraged kids to dress up as their favorite book character.  Initially Monkey wanted to be Elsa or Ana (of course), but I tried to emphasize book characters.  Yes, I realize there are book versions of the movie now, but I really wanted to encourage something that was at least a book before it was a movie.  After many suggestions and vetoes we both decided on Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus series.  We both agreed on this idea because 1) Monkey LOVES the Magic School Bus 2) the costume would be pretty simple to execute 3) the outfit wouldn't be so outlandish as to be a distraction in class and 4) we actually have a few of these books and have read them before she saw the shows  (it's the principle, after all).

     Most of Miss Frizzle's outfits are collared dresses with outlandish patterns, so I decided to start simple and add on.  I began with a simple navy blue, collared dress I found at Gymboree for $10.  (You can buy them online from Old Navy Kids for less, but I didn't have time to wait for shipping.)  I  found some fun solar system fabric at Hobby Lobby and a couple packs of yellow star buttons at Hancock Fabric.  

My haul
     I cut out individual planets from the fabric, pinned them in place, and sewed them to the dress

I swear I'm studying
Pinning it all in place 
I literally had to dust my poor sewing machine off before I could use it.
  Next I added the buttons by hand stitching them in place.  Here's the finished product:



      Something seemed to be missing, so I gave Monkey her own "Liz" to keep her company, by attaching her Beanie Baby "Rainbow" to her shoulder using safety pins.  I made sure to warn Monkey not to rip Rainbow/Liz off her shoulder or it would make big holes in the dress and/or the stuffed animal.  I also made sure to let her teacher know how I attached it so she could remove him if the stuffed animal became a problem in class.  It's a good thing I did, because when I got home from clinical, I found this note from Monkey's teacher.  It's a good thing Monkey was in the other room, because I got the giggles after reading it.

     Finally to round out the look, I twisted Monkey's hair the night before while it was still wet so that it would be good and frizzy curly the next morning.  J pulled it all up into a loose clip yesterday morning while I was at school with strict instructions to snap multiple pictures for me.  He, unfortunately, did not get the memo, so I don't have any pictures of the full ensemble. (You had one job, J!) Oh, well.  I may just snap a couple myself next time she decides to play dress up.

     Monkey and I had a lot of fun hunting for the perfect dress, finding the add-ons together, and even giggling while I did her hair.  It's really fun having a little girl, especially when she lets you in on the dress up game.  She got many compliments at school about her outfit, and she really enjoyed the extra attention.  Now she's telling me she wants to be Miss Frizzle for Halloween and Daddy can be Liz.  We shall see if he's up for that, but lucky for him she has plenty of time to change her mind!

     Also to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday, I made this special lunch for Monkey:

   I made the Cat in the Hat's hat by coloring red stripes on a white cheese stick.  Then I made green eggs and ham by dying an egg like you would an Easter egg, and threading a bit of rolled up ham on a toothpick.  I added in half of a banana, a GoGurt, and a bit of trail mix made up of Cheerios, cranberries, and yogurt-covered raisins.

     I had a lot of fun putting together all of this stuff so Monkey's usual Monday would be a tad more fun.  Now I'll leave you with these wonderful words of wisdom from Miss Frizzle herself :-)