Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Best Webkinz Birthday Party Ever

Mikayla's birthday party this year was awesome (if you're a 7 year old girl of course). The theme of her party was Webkinz. FYI: Webkinz are little stuffed animals, each one comes with a code that allows you to play on-line games with the virtual version of your pet. This party was based around some of the games that are played on the Webkinz website.
I had Mikayla invite fewer guests this year so we could have more concentrated awesomeness for the party goers.

I had purchased some Webkinz pets online from Amazon (much cheaper than buying them in the store), and when each girl arrived at the party their first stop was Ms. Birdy's Adoption Centre, where they adopted their new Webkinz pet (which they got to take home as part of their goody bag).

After the girls chose a name for their new pet, they filled out and decorated an adoption certificate I had made. Once everyone had a new pet and had named them we packed everyone up and took them to the theatre where we watched Escape From Planet Earth (cute movie by the way).

I had planned a few different games for the girls to play back at our house after the movie. I even made little signs for each game by printing the game image from the Webkinz website! Of course with all the craziness going on I didn't get very many pictures of all the excitement.

The games we played were:
  • Lily Padz, I cut out lily pad shapes from green construction paper, wrote a prize amount on each of them. I placed the lily padz on a blue tablecloth (the pond) on the floor, and had the kids throw a rubber frog onto the lily padz to win Kinz Cash.
  • Operation Gumball, each party-goer guessed at the number of gumballs in a jar. The winning kid got to take home most of the gumballs. (We let everyone have a few in their goody bag)
  • Wheel of WOW, my hubby went WAY above and beyond for this one. He built a wheel the kids could spin. He even nailed in little nails all around the circumference and added a little plastic tab to click along each nail as the wheel turned. Each coloured section had either a Kinz Cash amount, a spin again, or miss a turn.
  • Quizzy's Corner, the girls took turns answering quiz questions from this online game. Kinz Cash was their reward for each correct answer
  • Finally, there was a fashion show that each Webkinz pet was involved in. Of course prizes were awarded for the winners

For each game the girls won "Kinz Cash", which they got to spend at the end of the party in the "W Shop". I had bought a bunch of goodies from the dollar store, and the girls had a good time shopping for the treats for their goody bags.

Oh, and don't forget the food... also based on games from the Webkinz site, of course. Homemade individual pizzas (paying homage to the Pizza Pizazz game) and smoothies (circa Smoothie Moves game). Get this, I even printed up little menus, so the guests could pick the toppings for their pizza and the fruit used in their smoothie!!!!

And of course there was a cake... it got it's own post already though, no more to say about it here. Just another glimpse of it's beauty.

I was so exhausted after this massive party I could barely stand! Thank goodness they only have one birthday per year.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Webkinz Birthday Cake (Mikayla's 7th Birthday)

With all the craziness around here I'm only a month late on getting this post out!!! Anyway, this is the first of two separate posts about Mikayla's 7th birthday party, this one for the cake and the next for the party itself.

The party was "rainbow" themed in colour, so the cake had to follow suit! I remembered a cake I had seen on Pinterest (but unfortunately had not re-pinned at the time) with rainbow coloured layers - perfect for this party. Fortunately I found this recipe on-line to make the rainbow cake, and it came out beautiful and delicious!! Seriously, the best part about this cake was the inside.

The cake design was inspired by Mikayla's own Webkinz pets: Tuffy, the black and white cat, Hippy the blue hippo, and Pandy the panda (who is actually Gavin's). The second design inspiration came from one of the Webkinz games we played at the party, "Operation Gumball". Both colourful and Webkinz related, a win-win for this party! FYI, All the "gumballs" on the cake are made of fondant.
Funny story about this cake... We nearly didn't have time to eat the cake, and had to shove it at the kids as their parents were arriving to pick them up!!

Levi's 3rd Birthday Questionnaire

This is Levi's first birthday questionnaire. It's a slightly abridged version, because I didn't ask him all the questions, this is what I could get from him... one question at a time, over the course of a few days.

1. Favourite Colour? Blue
2. Favourite Food? Chicken.
3. Favourite place to eat? Over there with Superman (he says pointing at the kitchen table where Gavin is sitting dressed up as Superman). Not sure if this is because he likes my cooking, or he just wants to eat where ever Gavin is!
4. Favourite thing to do? Play Batman Lego 2 on the Wii (this is a big deal, because Gavin "allows" him to play now, and he wants to be just like Gavin in absolutely everything)
5. Best Friend? Mommy
6. Grade/Teacher? He will be going to his first year of pre-school this September
7. What do you want to be when you grow up? Robin and Alfred
8. Favourite Book? Itsy Bitsy Spider
9. Favourite Movie? Nemo
10. Favourite animal? Jellyfish!
11. What makes you happy? Pup Pup (stuffed grey and white dog, his fav stuffy)
12. Where is your favourite place to go? My room
13. What do you like to do with your brother and sister? Play Mario Kart Wii with Gavin, and play family with Mikayla and Gavin.
14. What is one thing you've done that you are most proud of? Go Pee-Pee on the potty

What a guy. Love him so much.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

A Birthday Letter to My Three Year Old

L-E-V-I, Levi! (That's what you tell me when I ask you your name)

Happy Birthday L-E-V-I.

I can't believe that my little baby boy is three years old! What a little guy you have turned into this year. You are hitting all sorts of big milestones, each and every one of them hammering home to me that you are not a baby anymore. Such a big boy... sleeping in a big bed, potty trained, no more naps!! You zip through your alphabet, like nobody's business, you love to count everything and make me stop on certain pages of your books to count things on that page. You can even recognize your numbers up to 20!!!
You are your big brother's shadow right now, following along behind him in any game he wants you to play: you are Robin to his Batman, you are Luigi to his Mario, you are Spider-baby to his Spiderman!
You love to get your hands on the iPad, Angry Birds are a big favourite of yours right now, but you often throw fits when Mommy or Daddy decide it's time to put it away.
You are such a polite little man, you always ask for things with manners... "Please have Mommy's phone". And even reject things with manners: "Levi it's time for jammies" usually gets the response "No thank you". Even when you get put in a time out you often say with emphasis "NO. THANK. YOU." then you cross your little arms tight across your chest, stick out your adorable lower lip and turn your head away with the cutest little "hmmph" sound. I find it hard not to smile every time I put you in time out!
I have such a hard time not referring to you as "the baby", I try not to, but it still slips out - then you remind me that you're a big boy. But mommy gets a little nostalgic that my baby-raising days are done, so I hang on to every little cuddle you let me have. You are a very loving little guy, you tell me often that you love me, and always want to give big kisses. You push my chin away from you so you can line up my cheek and say "I give you a big one", just as you plant a huge loud kiss on my cheek!
I know this next year is going to be full of even more milestones for you, you will be starting soccer this spring, and unparented swimming lessons, and not to mention pre-school starts in the fall! I love watching you grow up little Levi, and I know the upcoming year will be quite a show.
Love you. Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A Rough Couple Weeks

The past two weeks have been pretty close to hell around here. My grandmother, my Nan, had a big stroke two Wednesdays ago, and since then things have been upside-down and sideways in our little world. I stayed overnight at Nan's hospital bed on both Wednesday and Thursday nights that week, although she was not verbally responding to us, she would turn her head in the direction of a voice or make slight facial expressions in response to someones voice. I don't know for sure if my being there either night was a comfort to her, but it was comforting for me. Just being able to quietly hold her hand and tell her I love her whenever she was restless was important to me.

We decided to bring the kids in to see her on the Thursday, since they have been so close to her we thought it needed to be done. At first they were nervous, but it was so special to see her react to their voices and their kisses, and to see the kids come to an understanding that it was still their Nan, she just was "sleeping". That Friday night she passed away. She was 93.

It's a strange mix of emotions I feel about Nan's death. She had lived a long, full life, and had said numerous times she was not afraid of death, but was looking forward to the banquet awaiting her. Nan was intensely devoted in her faith. But she was my Nan, whom I had seen weekly or more often since before I can remember. My Nan whom I loved deeply, and respected deeply, and will miss deeply.

Following her death that Friday there was (of course) a whirlwind of family togetherness and funeral planning, punctuated by a lovely course of pinkeye and strep-throat! I was the lucky one who had pinkeye (in both eyes) the worst, I could barely see through my swollen eyelids on Tuesday. And boy was I a sight to behold on Wednesday for Nan's funeral! I'm sure everyone thought I was just red-eyed from crying non-stop. Of course pink-eye lovingly made it's way through our entire household, slowly, knocking us off one-by-one, and is still hanging on with Gavin (the last to get it), and myself (reinfected)!!!!!

Now, one would think that might be enough to deal with, but nope - there was also my dear Levi's third birthday on the Saturday following the funeral and Easter on Sunday, the day after his birthday!!!! I wanted so badly to put on a big party for Levi, but had to cancel last minute as the plague had not yet lifted off our home. We still had a small party with our family (not as worried about infecting them, they've been exposed to our bugs all week anyway) so we were able to use up some of the food I had already purchased and to make Levi the cake he had been really looking forward to.

And now I have oodles of blog posts backing up, and will hopefully be getting some done as the craziness of this past couple weeks settles, and I'm stuck at home with some time on my hands.