Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A parenting adventure from the summer

I was going through some Facebook blogs and thought I'd share this piece that I wrote last summer.  My family holds an annual disc golf tournament and music event every summer called Discstock.  Since I no longer live in Minnesota, I don't make it back for Discstock every year, but I love it when I do.  This is what happened at Discstock this year:

So, about an hour after I arrive at Discstock on Saturday, Finn projectile vomits all over me. My shirt, shorts & bra were coated in barf.  Luckily, no one from the tourney was around at that time, just the non-players, who were largely female.  I was so covered in barf that I couldn't help Finn, who seemed pretty good at that point anyway, so I had to strip down naked and get hosed off. Yes, with an actual hose. My sister had a shredded too small t-shirt her hubby had brought along as a rag that I was able to put on.  She also found me a fleece blanket made a nice sarong skirt. Then we had to clean off Finn, make a plan, move car seats, & load up all our stuff before I was able to go into town to shower & change. Total time either covered in puke, nearly naked in the middle of a disc golf course, or wearing makeshift clothing, around an hour. 

By the time I was redressed, Finn seemed fully recovered & we went back out & had a great time.  He was dancing to the music and throwing frisbees like he'd never been sick a day in his life.  Hubby had been playing in the tournament and didn't even know Barfstock 2011 until we were already back out to the farm. Parenthood is always an adventure.  Special thanks to my sister, sister-in-law and nieces for helping me out of a very icky situation.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Up Up and Away! It’s a Hot Air Balloon themed birthday!

Finn has loved balloons since he was old enough to say “LOOOOON” while pointing to anything round and floating. It started as a fascination with any balloon, but for the last year, he’s been especially enamored with hot air balloon.  We had several books and movies that showed them, and soon he was pointing them out everywhere from Diego’s Rescue Pack to the tiny Usborne books logo. His favorite “movie” is watching hot air balloon festival footage on You Tube. So, when our little guy turned 2, it only made sense to surprise him with a Hot Air Balloon theme birthday.

I bought a couple of inflatable hot air balloons, but frankly, the ones I made are just as cute if not cuter, and a lot more cost effective. I made them with beach balls! We also printed off a simple hot air balloon picture from online and added his name for the Happy Birthday banner and hung flags made out of construction paper and tie dyed coffee filters from previous art projects.

11 inch inflatable beach balls (69 cents each online).  Yellow ductape.  Small baskets (I found for 25 cents each).  I folded the duct tape over  so it was thin with just a little bit of stickiness and lined the bottom circle of the beach ball with it.  I attached the baskets to the middle of the circle with another piece of duct tape.  I slid fishing line through the closure at the top of the beach ball for an invisible string to hang it by. 

We had an afternoon party and we waited until naptime to decorate.  Finn woke up to find the balloons hanging all over the house and even outside.  He walked around in amazement, “A hotairballon! A hotairballon! Another hotairballoon!  A big one! A little one! Another one!!!”

Pyrex type bowl or round cake pan (I used this one) and cut part of the bottom, but a half dome would be enough.

Regular cake pan or mini pans for bottom of balloon and basket (I used pyrex bowls with flatter bottoms).

Cake Decorations: Frosting, brightly colored candies like Skittles, Nerds, Airheads Xtremes rainbow striped candy.

I cut the Airheads with a clean scissors to create the zigzag pattern on the cake.  I used Chex cereal for basket, and skewers or toothpicks to connect hot air balloon to basket, and added a little flag for his name.

Aside from the normal 2 year old playtime, we had a special treat of a real live mini hot air balloon - a sky lantern. We put ours on a fishing line so it wouldn’t fly away and potentially set the neighborhood on fire.  After the show, we doused it with water. The kids obviously loved the sky lantern, but we were pleasantly surprised to see how much the parents enjoyed it too!

2 year old Finn, Enjoying his Hot Air Balloon cake

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Halloween Follow-up

Hard to believe that Halloween was over two weeks ago!  As Nora’s birthday followed soon after, I haven’t have a chance to post pictures of their costumes until now.  Nora wanted to be a “rainbow unicorn with a yellow mane and a yellow tail.” (stay tuned for more rainbow unicorn fun, as that was also her birthday party theme).

After looking a bit on the internet, I found a unicorn costume that she and I agreed would be a good starting point.  In mid-September, we happened to find the perfect pants and shirt for her outfit at Mama Goose, our fabulous local kids consignment store.  I had already figured out that the mane would be attached with yellow duct tape, so the clothing would be completely in tact after Halloween.

We had a Repunzel wig that she had received for her birthday the year before that I used for the mane and tail.  I trimmed the tail and hot glued the trimmings on a strip of felt.  I used hair bands on the tail to make it look a little more horse-like at the top.  I hooked a piece of string though the top and tied it to her shirt. . 

The horn is made with craft foam and hot glue.  I painted it “rainbow,” as requested, with acrylic craft paints.  It’s then attached at the bottom to a piece of felt covered craft foam about 2-3 inches long, which acts to place the horn on the forehead rather than at the top of the head.  The original version of this costume suggested attaching the horn extension and ears to a headband, but after a trial run at the Wegmans costume parade the Thursday before Halloween, I found that this didn’t work well at all. The headband kept sliding out of place because it was on the hood rather than behind her ears.  So, instead I just hot glued the horn extension onto the felt part of the mane and taped it all down with a thin layer of duct tape.  I taped down the felt ears and “hooves” as well.

Total cost of the outfit was under $10, plus she’ll wear the rainbow clothing for the next year. I also attached the mane and horn back onto a headband so it can be reused for playing dress-up. 

Finn’s Dinosaur costume has been Nora’s from the year before.  He refused to wear the headpiece for more than the 30 seconds it took to get this picture.  It actually worked in our benefit, however, as without the triceratops head, his costume looked a lot like a dragon and everyone loved how well the unicorn and dragon went together. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Blogging, Parenting & Protecting

I’m very excited to start posting some blogs about the great birthday parties we’ve had this fall.  I had the urge to write up all the details of my son’s party, but realized I’m getting ahead of myself.  I want to tell everyone about the party, but I don’t want to tell everyone everything about my son.  I’m the kind of person who has never really had anything to hide, so I’ve never been overly cautious about using my full name on the internet. 

However, now that I have kids involved, I want to protect them.  I use their names on Facebook, but I also have my privacy settings up pretty high.  Only my friends can read my information & status updates or see my pictures.  The blog, however, is open to the world. Therefore, when it comes to the blog, I’m going to do limited facial pictures of them and use pseudonyms.  As for our imaginary names, it seems right to highlight or Scandinavian heritage, since so many of the traditions we have as a family revolve around them.  My husband’s dad is 100% Finnish, whereas much of my family is Norwegian.  Therefore I present to you,

Nora and Finn, enjoying this year's first snow.