Combine trying to take a picture of the five of us piled on each other with the camera on the wrong setting and you get a picture that the kids like better than the ones taken with the camera on the right setting!
Cameron’s birthday party was wonderful! He has told us several times that it was great and he had so much fun. Ten kids can be pretty loud, but I think they all had a good time.
We did the majority of the party down in the rec room. I had a sign on the wall by the stairs that said “This way to the science lab” with an arrow point down and another sign in front of the entry to the rec room that said “Welcome to the science lab.” We had two tables with chairs around them. When they got to the science lab they had to put on labcoats (made of trash bags) to keep their clothes from getting messy.
When the kids got there one table had test tubes and caps and color separated M&M Minis in beakers. The other table had Dots candy gumdrops and colored toothpicks. The children built molecule models with the Dots and toothpicks and each filled a test tube with the M&Ms. They got to take those home in their goody bags.
In the middle of the room we had a trash can with water and glow sticks in it. Jamie put pieces of dry ice in the water three or four time over the course of the party. The kids loved blowing on it and putting their hands in the smoke.
We did several experiments during the first hour of the party. The kids tested various liquids to see if they were acids or bases using a natural pH indicator – red cabbage water. They played with magnets (they each got to take home a horseshoe magnet, a bar magnet, and a sealed container of iron filings). They mixed cornstarch and water and played with that for a while (and then I put it in ziploc baggies and they got to take that home, too). They blew up balloons using soda bottles and baking soda and vinegar (some kids asked to take home their blown up balloons still attached to their bottles). They dropped various items into water to see if they would sink or float. We tried to do the trick where you lift up a piece of ice with string using salt, but it didn’t work. I think the ice cubes were too small.
Once the experiments were done they took off their labcoats and it was time for the piñata. Jamie had made the piñata over the course of the week before. It looked like a lightbulb.
It held up pretty well. Every kid got a chance to swing at it blindfolded and then a couple others got to have a second turn before it finally broke. Of course as soon as the candy poured out the kids happily scrambled to grab all the candy they could and put it in their goody bags to take home.
Then it was time for the cake and ice cream. I had made and iced cupcakes and we had sprinkles and tubes of writing icing for the kids to decorate their own cupcakes.
Once the cupcakes were all decorated the kids sang Happy Birthday to Cameron and he blew out his six candles.
After they ate their cupcakes and ice cream, I took the kids upstairs so Cameron could open his presents while Jamie cleaned up a bit downstairs. Cameron got a Cosmic Catch game, a gummy bug lab, a Ghost Rider toy, art supplies, K’Nex, some Legos, and some money from his friends.
Then we went back downstairs and the kids played with Model Magic until their parents got here to pick them up. They got to take home their creations in their goody bags as well (along with a paper with direction on how to do the experiments we did and a magnifying lens).
We had about a half hour rest and then it was time for Cameron’s family party. That one was much calmer. My uncle, aunt, and my parents came. Cameron wanted the adults to see how the dry ice works.
At that party he got jeans, 2 long sleeved shirt, a martial arts book, Unerversauraus book, an electric putting cup, a junior golf set, an Army T-shirt, a Sunday suit, a science experiments book, Hands-on Grossology book, Bubbleology kit, a practical jokes kit, a laser pointer, and a Dr. Dreadful lab and booster pack.
All in all it was a wonderful, tiring day and Cameron was so happy with the way his parties turned out. Now he gets to look forward to celebrating his actual 6th birthday in Williamsburg in a week and a half!
Cameron’s party went great and now we are exhausted. Two more people RSVP’d this morning a couple hours before the party and one showed up without RSVPing. Two neither RSVP’d nor showed up. Not too bad numbers overall. I ended up just making 12 of everything just in case. We had 10 kids here. One 5, almost 6, year old (Cameron), 8 six-year-olds, and a seven-year-old (Ani). I’ll post pictures and details later. It really was an awesome party! Cameron got some incredible gifts. Lots of science stuff and his uncle even gave him a set of junior golf clubs and a putting practice thing. Cameron was so incredibly excited over those golf clubs.
Cameron’s birthday party is on Saturday. We sent out the invitations a little over a week ago. I requested that they RSVP by yesterday. We are having a science-themed party and knowing how many children are coming would be immensely useful for making the labcoats and setting up the science lab.
We invited 11 kids (10 families). As of yesterday a whopping 4 had RSVP’d. 2 Yes and 2 No. What really annoys me is three of the kids (two families) that have not RSVP’d are children who have had birthday parties in the last few months and they requested RSVPs, which I did by the date requested. So I am left to wonder why they deserved a courtesy that apparently I don’t. And just how many labcoats should I make…
Update: Another family RSVP’d today!
Now that Fritz can eat anything, grocery shopping has gotten much easier. The big kids aren’t feeling deprived anymore (I think a lot of Ani’s jealousy toward Fritz stemmed from dietary restrictions) and we can use coupons and shop sales and get cheap groceries. That makes grocery shopping a lot more fun.
Safeway has been running a promotion where if you buy 20 items from a selection of items you get an instant $20 off your bill. Combining that promotion and their regular weekly sales with coupons produces big savings. Last night we went to Safeway and got $100 worth of food. We spent $21. We saved 79%. Not bad at all (and tons of fun to do!).
Cameron has had his new gymnastics coach for two weeks now. Today the coach told me he’d like Cameron to join the developmental team. Clearly Cameron has natural talent. I’d rather not go down the competitive path, but decided to give Cameron the option since this is the second coach that has extended the offer.
Cameron said no. He said he likes gymnastics, but he doesn’t love it. He wants to try new things and see what else he is good at. He is really looking forward to learning how to play golf. He wants to learn to swim better. He’d like to try out karate. Mostly he wants to learn to bake mini cakes that are elaborately decorated (his current career of choice for when he grows up).
I am always amazed at the amount of food Fritz eats and how easily he eats it. When Ani was 14 months old she barely ate solids at all (a couple bits now and then and some days nothing at all). We thought Cameron was a big eater but he had nothing on Fritz.
Fritz only has 6 teeth, four on top and two on bottom, now. And yet he can eat whatever he wants without any trouble. For dinner last night he ate two chicken nuggets. I’m still not sure how he does that with so few teeth. So far today, in addition to nursing, he’s had three pancakes and three pierogies. The other day he ate half of a Hot Pocket. On Saturday we went to Silver Diner and he ate more than half of a grilled cheese kids meal.
Speaking of Fritz eating grilled cheese, now that he’s over a year old we’ve been trying out a couple of the foods he used to react to each week. We have gone through everything except cashews, peanuts, shellfish, and grapes and he has had no problem with anything so far. It’s definitely making life much easier for us! He still has issues with carrots and bananas, but only when he eats them himself, not when I eat them.
I recently read an article about why having a homebirth is bad and giving birth in the hospital is good (warning: if you support homebirth, this article may make you turn funny colors). The whole article was annoying, but the part that really rubbed me the wrong way is the paragraph that says homebirth isn’t about the baby. See, apparently these crazy moms are giving birth at home in order to prove a point and make a political statement.
Have a drug free birth? Mom’s trying to look better than everyone else. Have a homebirth? Mom’s trying to prove a point at the peril of her unborn child. Co-sleep? Mom is risking baby’s life to have them stay close to her. Don’t vaccinate? Mom can’t handle hearing the baby cry. Breastfeed past a year? Mom gets some twisted pleasure from it. Homeschool? Mom can’t let her kids grow up and is stunting their social growth.
That’s how it always is, isn’t it? If you make a choice outside of the mainstream then you must be trying to prove a point. It’s always all about the mom and what the mom wants. I run into that sentiment often. It couldn’t possibly be that the choices I make for my family are based on research, prayer, and deep pondering. I know many of our choices are not the same as others would make and that’s okay. What’s right for us isn’t necessarily right for you. Just don’t assume that because your choice is the typical one that my choice is wrong.
Cameron doesn’t eat all that much in a day. He barely eats lunch and dinner. But I just can’t feed him enough for breakfast. He loves to eat breakfast, which is funny since his father hates most breakfast foods.
Yesterday Cameron had two eggs, two slices of bread, two yogurts, and cereal for breakfast. Today he had three eggs, a slice of bread, a bagel, a yogurt, and cereal. Both days he claimed to still be hungry after eating all of that!