Friday, December 19, 2014

Lolly's 6th Birthday Frozen Party

Yesterday my little Lolly Bolly turned six. SIX. My little cheeky monkey turned SIX.

This kid.

This kid.

This kid.

Happy birthday, crazy girl.

She had her birthday party last weekend. She wanted a Frozen party, of course. We wanted to have it in the gym hall where I work so they could have a bouncy house, but there were basketball games scheduled for that day. I booked it for the fitness room instead where we do classes. When I told Lolly we'd have it in the room where I do Zumba, she asked "Are we doing Zumba at my party?!" Hmmm, I thought. I suppose we could! So we planned a Frozen Zumba party.

I spent weeks beforehand on Pinterest getting ideas. I designed some invitations on Photoshop.

I wanted the theme colors to be all teal/blue and white. Food and everything. After seeing a million cool ideas, I stuck with a general snowflake theme for decor, and for food, I went with white powdered donuts (Lolly's request), popcorn, white covered pretzels, blue jello, Hershey's Hugs, white cheese dip with blue tortilla chips, blue punch (which turned out green, oops) and a bucket full of water bottles ("melted snow" right?). And of course a cake. Chocolate on the inside but with teal "ombre" icing.

I planned some crafts and games too, to entertain them before Zumba. We never got around to the games, but the crafts went well. They made toilet paper roll snowmen and cut snowflakes out of coffee filters.

We were going to play a Do You Want To Build a Snowman? game where the kids teamed up in twos or threes and wrapped one kid up in toilet paper, then finished by putting a scarf and hat on the wrapped up kid. It never happened though, because they were just happy doing their crafts and running around the room like crazy!

The kids had a snack, and then Kristy arrived to do the Zumba class. She was fantastic! She did songs like "What Did the Fox Say?" and the Gummy Bear song. We tried to get the parents to join in with the dancing, but until she got to the last song, the only parents dancing were those of us who go to/teach Zumba anyway!

(For the record, Zumba Kidz isn't the same as Zumba for kids. No twerking for tots. No popping for pre-schoolers.)

The kids loved it!

I've never seen so many Elsas in one room before.

The last song was "Let It Go". For that song, it began to snow. Thank you, Sarah, for letting us borrow your snow machine!!

With the last thirty minutes, we cut the cake and opened presents. Disney make a KILLING off of all the Frozen paraphernalia Lolly received for her birthday!

I toyed with all kinds of ideas for party favors to send home with the kids. I originally considered little bags of Hershey's Hugs with an Olaf tag saying "I like warm hugs!" But then I saw an idea (on Pinterest of course) for making little jars of homemade gak, and I just had to try it. I had a box full of jars in the garage that I've been trying to find a use for for over a year. I figured if I haven't used them yet, I probably never will! So I made fifteen or so jars of teal and purple gak. Scott told me I was an awful woman for sending gak home with other people's kids, and maybe I am! But I can bet the kids loved it. I know my kids did!

The party was so much fun. And as a mother, it was actually pretty stress free! It certainly helps to have a husband who will run back home for you to pick up the things you forgot and a friend to take all the pictures for you. Thank you, Elizabeth, for all these great pictures you took!

One more very happy birthday under my baby girl's belt.

Previous Parties:
1st - Rocking Horse/ Carousel
2nd - Clicky Shoes
3rd - Dora the Explorer
4th - Wizard of Oz
5th - Powerpuff Girls/ Superhero
6th - Frozen

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

DeBloAdMo and Elf Somewhat Weekly Update

I have failed DeBloAdMo this year (December Blog Advent Month). Mostly because I have failed advent this year. Half of the things the children have pulled out of the advent calendar have gone undone. But we've visited a lot of Santas!

Town Christmas Festival Santa:

Pampered Chef Christmas Party Santa (and Mrs Claus):

Elementary School "Game Night with Santa" Santa:

And we saw some pretty lights at the drive-through lights display.

Banoffee Pie has been hanging around a lot too. I have now forgotten about him three times... Mum of the Year. Fortunately, Fifi always comes to the rescue. Yesterday morning, she saved my bum by having Banoffee knocked over by an avalanche of lemons. Sadly, I never got to see this before Daddy cleaned it up (it was my lie-in day). I'll have to ask her to recreate the scene for a photo.

Besides that little slip, we have found Banoffee doing the following things:

Baking Cookies (Day 10):

Playing a Strange and Kind Of Disturbing Game of Hide-And-Seek - Care of Fifi (Day 11):

Baking Again (Day 12):

Making Chalk Announcements About Birthday Parties - A post for tomorrow perhaps? (Day 13):

Reading the Sunday Paper (Day 15):

And Stealing the Last Powdered Donut - Luckily there's another bag! (Day 16 - tomorrow):

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fifi and the Great Hospital Adventure

I guess while I've got a cake in the oven is a good time to share what I alluded to in my previous post about Fifi.

On Sunday, she woke up complaining of lower abdomen pains. We didn't know what was wrong with her, so we gave her one of those microwavable cuddly toys to keep pressed against her tummy, and she spent the day in her pajamas sort of lying around, with a mild fever. The following morning (Monday), she came into our bedroom at 5.30am nearly in tears because she hurt so badly. She still had a slight fever. I warmed up her cuddly sheep again and set her up on the couch. I was beginning to toy with the idea of calling a doctor. Her pain appeared to be much more severe than it had been the day before. I gave her some children's Tylenol for the pain. Then she said, "It hurts over here now" and pointed to her lower right side.

Uh-oh, I thought.

The doctors' office opens at 8am, so at 8am on the dot, I called to make an appointment. After waiting on hold for fifteen minutes, I finally got through to the receptionist. Our family doctor didn't have any openings until later that afternoon, but the receptionist agreed with me that this needed to be seen to immediately and asked if she could schedule me with a different doctor at 10am. Of course!

I got the kids ready (Lolly was at school by now), and we were at the doctors' office ten minutes early and were seen quickly. The doctor wanted to get some tests run on Fifi to rule out appendicitis right away, so they did a urinalysis (to rule out UTI), a blood test and an x-ray. Fifi wasn't expecting the blood test - even though I'd mentioned before we left the house that they might need to do this - and she freaked out. She was still very good and still for the lab assistant but was in tears, on the verge of hysterical.

By this time, the Tylenol was wearing off, and her pain was returning, even worse now, as we waited for the test results. Even still, with her pain, I was beginning to think I really had been over-reacting and she was probably fine. She hadn't said anything about her right side again, and I began wondering if it was just painful "wind" or constipation. Then the doctor returned.

She told us Fifi had a higher than normal white blood count - another indicator of appendicitis - and she was scheduling us a CT scan at the hospital right away.

I still had Baby Jaguar with us at this point, but things were starting to look like a back-up plan might be needed. As I drove the kids the hospital, I spoke on the phone to various people - Scott, my dad, my mom, my step-dad, my step-mom, my friend Mike, the school - trying to arrange everything. Lolly would ride the bus to Mike's house. Dad would come to the hospital to take Jaguar home with him in an hour. In the meantime, Scott would come straight to the hospital to help with Jaguar until Dad got there. My step-dad, who works in the hospital, would meet me at the front door to park my car so Fi wouldn't have to walk, and then he'd sit with Jaguar while I got Fifi admitted. It was kind of a whirlwind. All the while, Fifi was clutching her belly and intermittently whimpering.

By the time we got to the CT scan waiting room, Fi was sobbing with pain. It was heartbreaking to watch. I was mentally planning an overnight stay, how I'd break it to her that she might need her appendix out, who would keep Lolly and Jaguar overnight, how I'd need to get my shift at work covered for the following night. We were finally taken back to get her scan, when it was explained that she'd need to drink a large barium drink and then wait another hour before they could do the scan. Poor Fifi was distraught. We did our best to distract her, as did another mother waiting with her teenage daughter for the exact same thing (suspected appendicitis). Thank you, Judge Judy, for your televised entertainment!

After an hour, Fi and I went in to get her scan. I'd shown her a CT machine on my phone so she'd know what to expect. What she did not expect was getting an IV. Again, she freaked out. The whole experience was really upsetting for her, getting the IV, getting the contrast dye injected into her arm, the big machine, and then the long wait with the IV still in her arm. Oh and the whole not having eaten since 10am, since they needed her to fast just in case surgery was necessary. By this time - 4pm or so - she was famished. We waited for ages for a doctor to read her scan. (So did the teenage girl in the waiting room with us, for that matter.) Around 5pm, the doctor had finally come around to look at the scans. The girl waiting with us was told she'd need her appendix out, and I was sure Fifi would see her again in a few hours after the same procedure. The doctor then asked for a second scan on Fi, since the first was not conclusive. The poor child had to go through another CT scan. The tech came out fairly soon after that and told us we could go home. It wasn't appendicitis.

We were kind of ... confused.

We never saw a doctor, so we had to ask the tech what was causing her pain and the fever and the high white blood cell count? He reminded us he couldn't say for sure, since he isn't the doctor, but that he was willing to bet it was some Long-Medical-Terminitis that mimics the symptoms of appendicitis, but the scan was clear: her appendix was fine.

We were relieved, naturally, that it wasn't her appendix and she wouldn't need surgery. However, we were a little unhappy with the lack of answers. The next day the GP who'd seen us originally called to tell us she thinks it was all just constipation and to give her Miralax. I asked why she would have a fever and high WBC if it was just constipation, and the doctor said that just happens sometimes. Scott and I didn't really buy that, but what else was there to do?

I kept Fi home from school on Tuesday to let her recover from her stressful day previously. By the end of the day, she seemed to be feeling better, had stopped clutching her belly constantly, had no fever, and the color had returned to her face. Whatever she had that was causing her pain seemed to have subsided. We just wish we could've gotten some better answers from the medical staff!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

An Elf Update

Day 6:

The day I forgot the elf, and Fifi woke up disappointed and asked if she could go back to bed for a few minutes while I did something with him. (Luckily I kept last year's paper chain.)

Day 7:

The treasure hunt with *clues. Banoffee's gift of Elf on the Shelf pjs for the kids.

Day 8:

Instead of cleaning up Baby Jaguar's toys...

Day 9:

Too tired to think of anything else after a long day at the hospital with Fifi. Cue cliff hanger. (Spoiler: She's okay.)

* Christmas Indoor Treasure Hunt Clues updated from last year:

Before you do anything,
Go check your Advent letter.
I have a wee surprise for you
Run along now, friends, you better!
Banoffee Pie

Follow this clue to a very cold place,
where ice cubes and Popsicles fill up the space.
Go into the kitchen to solve this brain-teaser,
and open the door to the family’s _______.

Follow this clue to a very dark spot
Where bedding and linen and towels may be got
Go to mum’s bathroom (go there yourself)
The clue will be hidden up high on a ______.

When you're feeling less than fresh
or you want to have a laugh,
you wash and get all squeaky clean
inside a warm bubble _________.

Dora and Frozen, Spiderman too-
These are what kids like to see.
But Gilmore Girls, Scrubs and That 70’s Show
are what Mummy likes to watch on ________.

At breakfast and dinner
and lunch when we are able,
we set out the dishes and food
and we gather around the kitchen ________.

Our clothes just keep getting dirty
and we put them here to get them clean.
We like to take turns pouring in the soap
and pushing the buttons on the washing _______.

Up and down, and up and down
you climb these every day.
You've likely seen the clue on these,
but passed it anyway.

All year long these belong outside
But at Christmas you will often see
Families all over bringing just one inside
And putting decorations all over this ______.

When Mum needs a break,
You’d best not refute her --
A few moments to blog
and check up on Facebook,
She needs to play around on her __________!

This room is where your dad likes to sleep
Tiptoe very quietly in.
If you’re the first, you’ll hear the words,
“Congratulations… YOU WIN!”


Be the first back to the room
where this hunt did begin
If you're the first you'll hear the words,
"Congrats, to you... YOU WIN!"

Thursday, December 04, 2014


There's a lot of Elf on the Shelf naysayers out there, but to you I say HATERS GONNA HATE.

This morning, Banoffee Pie was found giving our little tree some sparkle. And he got a little tangled up in the tinsel in the process.

Tomorrow morning, the kids will wake up to discover that Banoffee has stolen my camera and gone around the house taking selfies... or shall I say elfies?

For the full album of Elfies, click here.

Sometimes I think I convince even myself that this little guy is real...