One in a minion birthday party





In a house where scenes from Frozen movie are being acted out everyday, I was preparing for another Frozen party.   As I type this post, scene of "Elsa, Elsa, are you in there ?  "Go away Anna" is happening in our bathroom, with one kid on each side of the door.  Perhaps Bee sensed we're overloaded with Frozen hence she asked me if she can have a Minion party !!!  Okay....Minions it is then !  Those yellow pill-like looking creatures are so darn cute.  Bee do bee do bee do !!!!!!  I welcomed a break from all the pink :)

We talked to Bee about her party and she wanted to invite all her friends to come = whole class.  This is my first time planning a party for school kids !  I was a little nervous thinking of entertaining a room full of little munchkins running around and meeting their parents.  First thing I did was scouting out a party place.  Those kid themed jungle gym are fun but none near us let us bring in our own food.  They have pizza and hot dog for kids and Bee doesn't eat those.  I don't want her to starve on her birthday !  We decided to rent out a room and gym in a community center close by.



The day before the party we made a chocolate rice krispies cake together.  I really wanted to order a cake so it's less work for me but Bee said she wanted a rice krispies cake like Lovebug, but with no icing (fondant).  In keeping with the theme, Bee brought out the minions she got from Kinder eggs and used as cake topper.  We also went and picked up yellow and blue cupcakes from Cassia cupcakery.

Such good little helper she is !  She made a K with pink marshmallow on her cake  and helped me with dividing candies and folding the candy treat boxes.



THE MORNING OF:

They turned into zombie while waiting !

Bee and Love were soooooo excited for the party.  They woke up at 7am, got dressed and ran around the house; sliding in their socks and screaming.  They kind of annoyed me but C reminded me, when was the last time I'm excited like this. and the only recent one I can think of was the day I get to meet Nolan.  But it was different.  I realized as adult we don't get excited anymore :-(  kinda sad.  So I let the kids scream and yell and do whatever they want !!!  It's a special day for them, yes not just with Bee, Love felt it's her party too.  Top it all off, it's SUNNY !  no rain !!!  Thank God !

Once arrived to the community center, I went and set up our lunch room while the kids went to the gym.  They had a lot of fun playing in there.  The bouncy castle was most popular !  We had 1 hour in the gym and 1 hour in the activities room for lunch.  I felt it was a bit too short but the center was quite nice and let us stayed over half an hour later.  Many of the kids asked if they can go back into the gym :-(  I think I would go the jungle gym route next time just because they can play longer.  I have 1 year to convince Bee to like pizza !!!  



Couple of things I learned as a first timer school party host.  Book early !  Whether it's the jungle gym or community center or a hall, book the place as early as you can for a better room selection, date and timing.  Bee's party was on Easter Sunday long weekend and the last weekend of spring break. A double whammy :(  We expected more but had a total of 12 kids and a few babies.  The room we rented has no kitchen so we have to plan food accordingly.  We went with pizza and KFC (for Bee).  Snacks were kettle popcorn, chips (variety case), and a large tray of fruits (if you have time, make your own fruits tray as it's fresh and cheaper), and drink were water and a case of different type of juices (40). 

Fruits for the hungry happy kiddos !

If you're planning for something like this, keep in mind that kids don't eat much food !  They're distracted and high on energy so they eat little but drink a lot !  I also noticed they ate a lot of fruits and popcorn !  For 20 adults and 12 kids, we ordered 6 large specialty pizza, 3 medium pepperoni for the kids, and 30 pieces of KFC.  We had about 1/3 left over of food.  Snacks, drinks and dessert (30 mini cupcakes and 20 rice krispies squares) were just right, with little left over.

I'm glad it's all over and done !!!  The kids got their parties, we hosted the best we can and don't have to plan for any birthday party for the rest of this year !  Yay !  Anywho, details of the decor are below.  The cake stands are from Ikea and Homesense.  They are great investment as you buy once and you can reuse for all parties.  The minion toys are borrowed from my friend Judy = no cost !  I believe you can pick up same ones or similar ones at Walmart or Toys R Us.  Have fun decorating and if you need an opinion on your party plan feel free to email me !

WHERE TO BUY: 

- Yellow tissue paper for yellow buff ball, Dollar Daze, $1 a pack (1 light yellow & 1 yellow)
- Minion Happy Birthday sign, Dollar Daze, $3
- Yellow polka dots popcorn/treat box, Dollar Daze, $2 for 8
- Blue polka dots napkins, Dollarama, $1.25 a pack
- Minion table cover, Walmart, $3
- Minion paper plates, Walmart, $3 for 8
- Minion treat bags, Walmart, $4 for 8
- Minion cupcake liner, Michaels, $4 a pack

GOODY BAG: 
(I might forego this next year, as I feel it's so much work finding and filling these little bags.  I think we will get them to make something instead and send the kids home with something more useful/meaningful)

- Crayola crayons, Walmart, $2 a pack of 24
- Playdoh, Walmart, $1 for 1 (1 blue and 1 yellow color (minion color))
- Minions pencils, Walmart
- Blue polka dots candy box, Walmart (Grandview), party section, $1 for pack of 8
- Jelly Belly & M&M Easter Eggs (to divide into blue Walmart candy boxes), Costco
- Baby MumMum for babies, Walmart

sweet sassy six





I told Bee I wanted to take some pictures of her.  She ran off to put on all her Kinder Surprise's accessories, hair clip, ring and bracelet !


My daughter turned 6 today.  She's a 6 year old kid now !  Oh mind !  It feels like she's been around forever but also in the same time it feels like time flew by us.  Not long ago I was holding her in my arms, oh and ah over how cute and tiny she is.

Since the day she came into our lives, Bee's always been a happy, full of spirit child.  She's generous with her smile and kisses.  "I want to grow up to be a great helper" she told us.  She wants to assist with everything.  With the new baby, she wants to hold Peanut, soothe him when he cries, and entertain him.  She also started helping Love to wash her hands, dress her, and wipe her bum bum !  I had to protest against that, complaining that it's my job :-)  (I really need to make sure bum bum are cleaned according to my standards).

Bee helps out often in the kitchen.  From washing to mixing to setting up table, she's eager to lend a helping hand.  Kids thrive, I find, when we include them in 'big people" activities, as long as it's not dangerous, like using knives or being near hot stove !  Bee would tell me "I want to help so you can rest".  Melt my heart that girl !

It's exciting to see Bee growing into a girl.  She takes note of herself in front of the mirror, fix her hair, and fuss over how she looks before school or going out.  She'll complain if her inside shirt is longer than outside, or if her socks' bottom doesn't sit on the heel properly.  She's very particular and proper.  One thing I discovered recently is that Bee treasured things (or hoarding, like me :-)  Up on her bunk bed are little toys that she got from Happy meals or Kinder eggs.  She liked them so she kept them and lined them up neatly next to each other.  She even keeps little nice note paper !!  Her bed area is very organized and neat.  If Lovebug take or move anything she will notice it right away.  Very much like her daddy !





This year, being in kindergarten, brings about the most changes.  She expresses her feeling in more details and also learned to fibs :(  she always start her confession to me with "I'm sorry mommy", then proceed with telling me what she lied about.  Like rolling down the hill on her own or giving Love boogers and tell her to eat it !!!  I told her to please keep telling me the truth and be honest.  I will not get mad.  C told her the never cry wolf story to show her the importance of telling the truth.  Hopefully it sticks !

Right now Bee's day is all about counting and spelling.  She likes to spell everything out, sound out every letter, syllable, and word.  She's very good with them and can spell and write simple word on her own, like:  milk, me, to, from, love, day, happy, mom, dad, go, today, I, mommy, daddy, dog, cat, you, fish, etc.

I noticed that Bee enjoys math.  Her fun activity is me writing down math equations for her to solve.  We're working  with addition and subtraction from 1-20 right now.  From 1-10 is too easy, she can spit out the answer pretty much instantly.  Her 2nd report card reported that she exceeds expectations in Math.  Woo hoo !  

Bee recently completed her Special Helper task at school.  It was a huge moment for all of us !  She used to be so scare and wake up at night crying over it (seeing her name coming up on the special helper's list). Her teacher said she noticed her stress and will help her.  Then a couple months ago Bee told me she's going to be brave and try to do it.  She did it and she said she's not afraid anymore.  She did it twice now.  So proud of her.  That's how things are with Bee, she takes a bit of time to process and get use to things then when she's ready she will go for it.  She likes to observe everything first.  A trait from her daddy.  Who takes time with things, who's safe and all about prevention.  Unlike her mom, who rushed into things and does things on impulse often !!!

We have many crafting days and through it I find that Bee is very creative.  Give her a few items and she'll come up with something interesting.  I'm still so impressed with the paper dollie hairband she made.   Besides crafts, her favorite pass time is Lego, reading, painting, drawing, writing, making cards, dancing to Jessie's girl, playing dolls, playing games with us, being tickled, and role play.  In the last 2 weeks she's started to play video games with C.  She is quite good with it.  She never ceased to impress me.  

Bee's currently focusing on being funny and brave.  She's still quiet when around a big group, still doesn't respond if more than 1 adult is talking to her, and if too many eyes are on her, she'll freeze.  "It's how Jesus made me" she said, when asked why she doesn't talk to aunties or uncles when they talked to her.  I agreed, she is a fine girl the way she is.  I am very proud of her.  My darling girl, I can't wait to create more memories with you !






bubbles and bunnies hop

  

The girls were naughty today !  Bee emptied a half bottle of bubble bath into the tub, mixed it with water and told Love to flung the suds everywhere.  That little one is always happy to complied !  I was upset at them but couldn't stay angry long because Bee said Sorry and followed it with "when someone say sorry, you have to forgive them".  My words against me.  I pour bubbles over them and they squeals in delight !  Not the reactions I want so I pour more bubbles until they yelled "NO more bubble!"  Then they started to squirt water on me and I in turn spray them with a bit of cold water.  The cold water was all that's needed to end their frolic and they promised not to do this again.  Sure, like they ever remember their promises !!!

After getting them cleaned and getting the bathroom cleaned, I found myself still rambling on about how could they do this and how Bee should know better.  Bee came to me and handed me a paper.  She  drew me a picture of a broken heart and 3 stick persons with our names.  She said our hearts are all broken (over what happened).  I saw an X with arrow in the middle of the heart and asked what it is.  She said, it's the because the heart couldn't fit back together.  What can we do to put it back together ?  I asked her what she think can mend it.  She said "we say I love You and hug!" and we did just that.  Even though the picture was of my breaking heart (because I'm upset), their hearts are broken too because they're sad that I'm angry at them.  She's like that, so darn sentimental.  She's so sweet, how can one be mad at her.  All is forgotten !


The girls' energy were still high so they were wrestling with each other.  I never like them wrestle because one always get hurt.  So I suggested they have a hopping contest !  I took out my old leg warmers.  They were so stretchy, they're perfect to be worn like a tube on each girl.  With their legs tight inside the warmers, they hopped from one end of the house to another !  that got a lot of laughter from the girls as once they fall it's so hard to get up.  This activity was awesome because after like 15 min., it sure tired them out !  We shall do this again !

Little wonders


The Lord answered many of my prayers throughout my life.  From health issues to employments, He's always been faithful and in time, I've come to see that His outcomes always are better than my plans and exceed my expectations.

Some prayers take a while for us to realize and understand what His answers are to our prayers.  I thank God often for His long term and wide view plan for me.  He listened to my prayers, acknowledged them and work out His plan to get me there.  He rarely give me what I originally asked for, but always replace them with something better.  He held me in higher regard and credited me more than I do to myself.  Always the best for me.  It is always always like that with me and Jesus.

The few times He answered my prayer right away are ones that makes me smile every time.  They are not grand request but trivial ones, but nonetheless I feel they are important enough for me to plea to the Man Up there.  The first incident I remember is that I bought a very expensive item and lost the receipt.  I searched our house high and low and it was no where to be found.  I got mad at myself for buying thing when I'm not 100% sold on it.  I don't want to keep this and out of money !  I need to find the stupid receipt.

While getting ready to leave our house, I pleaded with God desperately to help me as I gather my things to go.  I went over to the shoes closet to grab a pair of shoes.  I thought I should wear my brown boots as I haven't worn them for a while.  I reached far back in the closet for the boots and for some reason put my hand inside.  Lo and behold, out came the receipt.  I freaked out and can't thank Him enough.

Staying on this theme of lost/missing item, the second time I remember I needed His help was when we were rushing to Alpha class.  When I got up off the sofa to leave, the button from my overall popped off!!!!  Grrrrrr !  Why now and why right on my shag carpet ????  I frantically ran my hand all over the carpet and I couldn't find it.  This overall is so cute, I don't want to change !!!  I move my fingers inch by inch over the carpet hoping to cover all area, to find it.  The+n I remember my shoes' receipt prayer and started to pray for help.  Right then, right after I opened my eyes, I reached out into the shaggy rug and my fingers got hold the button.  Just like that.


Today is another one of those.  Nolan lost 1 cute sock shoes.  I searched for it this whole week and it's no where to be found.  It's a baby sock, meaning it's small and can easily be lost.  I lost the girls' and my socks all the time.  I never bother to look for them but this time is different.  I want Nolan to wear it to an up coming event and don't want to buy new one.  I thought I might suck it up while vacuuming.  I love vacuuming and sometime I just let the machine suck up anything in its path.  I used 2 vacuums, one is the clear bag-less and one is with bag.  I looked into the clear bin and checked the hose, nothing.   I opened the bagged one, dumped out all the garbage inside, no sock shoes but did recover Anna's shirt, the one no one missed.

I search the house again this morning.  Maybe it got stuck inside a piece of clothing ?  I search the girls' dressers and found a big nothing.  I have searched every nooks, flipped up the rug, looked under the bed, under all tables, moved the sofa and dresser, opened everything that can be opened and still, not a sight of it.  I hate loosing things.  The shoes socks are so cute on Nolan and now there's one lying in his dresser missing it's partner.

I sat in the home office.  I've been in here 4 times already.  C was holding Nolan with those socks the day one went missing.  The office and the living room is where he frequented so if it fell off, these 2 rooms has the highest probably of concealing the lone sad sock.  I searched the living room like 10 times already so thought I revisit the office again today. There's not much in here to search.  I moved the computer tower, the paper cutter and the AC and all are cleared.  I sat and stare into space.  Where can it be God ?  Can you please help me find it ?  He always so good with finding things for me.  I smiled inside, hoping He would go "poof" and placed the socks in front of me !  I sat down looking under the table, it's a normal height table so if it's there you would see it.  I thought it was silly of me to expect God just to put it there.  I gave up hope and when I was about to stand up, right there, right about a foot to the right side of me, lie the sock.  I freaked out momentary because that's just freaky, in the awesome kind of way.  Thank you Jesus !  My heart leaped for joy.  I found the sock.   It was caught into the hidden wheels of the AC.  No wonder I didn't see it until I sat down on the floor.  

I feel the need to write this down.  This is a reminder to me that every prayer sent upward is being listened and heard.  Even the trivial stuff mattered to Him.  If He cares about those, imagine how He is when it comes to stuff that are consequential to us.  When it comes to prayer like this, when things are lost, He answered my prayer right the moment I finished to let me know, "Yeah, I heard you !" and to bring an awe and a sense of wonder back to into me.  I forgot how marvelous and wonderful He is.  He's reminding me He's still here, still walking with me, so don't loose sight of Him.  He understood my feeling.  Loosing stuff sucks.  He doesn't like to loose anything either, this I'm sure, especially people.  

spring break staycation

Bee is home for spring break.  I was looking forward to take her on mini outings but Peanut is sick so home we stayed.  Luckily I was prepared with a few activities to keep her and Love busy this week.

We painted bird houses, painted egg carton flowers, built a tree house for owls out of foams, did 2 egg hunts, play dress up, baked banana breads, went to the playground twice, drank slurpee, danced, went swimming, picked names for our stuffed dogs ( Charlie and Tucker) and caterpillar (Apple), played in indoor playground, painted our nails (7 free Pacifica), and did a lot of Lego and role playing !  

Not sure what's in plan for next week but there're 2 parties and a play date scheduled!  For now I survive the first week keeping 2 bodies busy while caring for a sick baby.





















easy banana bread recipe




BANANA BREAD RECIPE
Prep time: 10 minutes  :  Cook time: 55 minutes  :  Yield: Makes one loaf or 12 muffins

Super easy to mix and clean up !  The best bananas to use for banana bread are those that are over-ripe.  The yellow peels should be all dotted with brown spots ! and the bananas inside soft and squishy.

INGREDIENTS

2-3 ripe bananas, peeled (depending on the size, if around 7" then use 2 bananas, use 3 bananas if smaller size)
1/3 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you would like it less sweet, 1 cup if more sweet, I used organic cane sugar)
1 egg, beaten (You can add 1 egg or 1 egg white or yolk for moist bread)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 cup of oatmeal (blended in blender to almost powder) and 1 cup of flour)







METHOD
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and butter or oil a 4x8-inch loaf pan or muffin pan. (I have a convection toaster oven so I used it instead of oven, 325 high for 1 hour)
  • In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork or potato masher until completely smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
  • Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F (175°C), or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.  ***If making muffin, baking time is a lot less, about 20 min.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the banana bread from the pan. Slice and serve. (A bread knife helps to make slices that aren't crumbly.)

Reviews: Non toxic nail polish

First thing first, I don't think there is such thing as completely natural non toxic nail polish !  To have a liquid colour adheres to your nails and dry within seconds require some sort of chemicals mixing.  I think the level of toxic can be low but not completely free.  Buy with that info. in mind.

My girls like to have their nails painted.  I am pretty sure they saw it on ad some where as I don't paint my nails.  Being a mom who's always finding stuff to do with her girls, I thought it would be fun to do this together.  I did some research on it and found a few brands that promises no harmful ingredients.  I must say these past few years has been great for those who are after a non-toxic, natural and organic life style.  Because there are many choices available.  5 years ago I would be lucky to find just one non-toxic nail polish.
The brand we are trying out are Pacifica, Suncoat and Piggy Paint.  They are all around $10 each. 

PACIFICA 7-FREE
7 FREE is formulated without parabens, phthalates (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, resin, and animals.

Pro:  Goes on smoothly, color is nice and coverage is good. Dry fast and last for a week +.  Has beautiful and bold colors.  More for adult than kids.
Con:  Smells really strong, typical nail polish smell.  Once open it takes over the room.  I don't know how I feel about buying this again because if it smell so intense, something isn't natural there :-/

SUNCOAT
Water-based nail polish for children. Odourless and VOC free (free of chemical solvents). Peels off. No remover needed! Not only free of toluene, formaldehyde, phthalate plasticizers (BDP etc) and alcohol, but also free of acetates and toxic preservatives such as parabens and methylisothiazolinone (Neolone 950).  Coloured with mineral pigments and natural colorants.

Pro:  Goes on nicely, a little on the thick side (no little ball inside to mix up the paint), and little to no smell.  Takes less than a min. to dry. Peels off in a day or two.  

Con:
 Not too many color to pick from as it catered more for kids.  Peels off too fast.  It comes off when the kids soak in a bubble bath.  






PIGGY PAINT
Non-toxic, Virtually Odorless, Water-based formula, Hypoallergenic, Dries to a hard, durable finish
Cruelty-free, Does not peel, Kid-friendly, Safe for use during Pregnancy!  

Pro:  Lots of colors to pick from ! bold/bright adult and kids friendly colors.  Fast drying and little to no smell.  Paint has good thickness/coverage.  Last for about 3 days. 

Con:
 Streaky, I can see the paint strokes. 



After trying them all out, I like Piggy Paint for the kids the best as it last a little longer than Suncoat and have many fun color.  If I am buying for me I would stick with Piggy Paint too for everyday kind of fun thing to do with the girls.  But if I'm going out I would buy Pacifica just because it has more classy grown up colors and less toxic ingredients than popular brands in stores.
   

7 weeks old, sick baby


Peanut is sick.  He must have gotten it from Bee, who is glue to him, every waking moment of his life !  She kisses him, hugs him, pets him, touches his head and holds his hand.  When she was sick we kept her at arms length but the minute our eyes are off him, she is found next to the bassinet touching his head and cheeks and would sneak in a kiss.

For Nolan it started off with a couple of sneezes and one single cough at night.  I thought something just irritated him.  The next morning, more cough follows and they sounded worst as the day tolls on.  When Nolan is sleeping he doesn't cough and isn't mucusy.  He sleeps perfectly well and fine.  However when he's awake, he would cough and cough and after his breathing sounds sticky and wet.  Thank god he's at the stage where he sleeps 75% of the time.


Nolan's cough sounds painful and hoarse.  He has no fever, not congested, not fussy, eat (breastfeed) and sleep ok.  On sick day #2, his cough would bring up a whole whack of white milk, super thick sticky stuff, which I think is milk mixed with phlegm.  He would do that 2-3 times in the day and about 3-4 at night.  Every time he cough I would go into panic mode as it sounds like he's in pain.  But he looks fine and isn't bothered by it.  Whenever I put him down and he happened to cough, I'm terrified !  afraid he might choke on his spit up.  I would hold him up in sitting position to make the coughing easier.

To help loosen his mucus, we ran a humidifier all through the night.  Before night sleep, I would run a hot shower to steam up the bathroom, sat in there with him.  Whenever he coughs I would cupped my hand and pat them on his back, not too gently nor too hard, just a good pat to loosen up the mucus.  Sometime he would spat up a chunk of white sticky stuff (which I assumed is milk with phlegm, I can be wrong).  But he feels better after hacking it out.  Then we both would have a bath and I handed him over to C to rock him to sleep.

Taking care of Nolan wouldn't be so much work if it's just C and I and him.  However with 2 girls added to the equation, it isn't all that simple.  Keeping the bathroom door closed was a challenge as the girls keep coming in to check up on us, letting all the steam out.  Whenever he's cough and spat up they would hover over him and ask what's happening.  Even after like the 10th time, it still a new thing for them !!!  When baby sleep they would kiss him or talk loudly to him, to wake him up to play with them (despite us telling them he can't play with them yet because he can't even sit up).  Arggghhhh !

It's spring break so Bee is home with us !  I am in the company of 3 kids day and night !!!  In order to keep the day manageable and liveable, I try setting up games and craft projects to keep them busy.  I admit there were some low moments where I threatened to send them away because they're so mischievous!  Thank God for my mom for being around to help and give me a break, physical and mental break, here and there.

Day 2 & 3 of his cold I would hold him through all his waking and sleeping.  I never been through this before.  The girls were rarely sick when they were babies.  At night I held Nolan and sleep in a sitting position with him sleeping on me.  I had few shut eyes, about 2 hours total for the night.  My arms are super tired and feel like I no longer have control over them. When he's up for feed mid night I can see him and hear him but I can't move.  I feel paralyzed for a few minutes.  C would take hold of him and soothe him before I gather myself up and feed the hungry little boy.  Then after feed, he would cough and much of the meal would come up and I would nurse him again.  C and I feel so helpless when he cough.  We want to help but there isn't much we can do.  We already took him to see the doctor (on day 3) and he told me to keep on breastfeeding him.  If he get a fever then straight to ER he goes.  Baby under 3 months, with a fever, get direct access to emergency at hospital.

On day 4 of his sickness, I feel like a zombie.  2 nights of very little sleep does that to you.  On top of that my arms are achy and want to fall off me.  I have to ask my mom to hold Nolan while I take a short nap.  I napped for 2 hours and feel alive again !

We're on day 5 of his sickness.  He's a lot better today.  He cough only once.  No more spit up to stress over either.  The girls have been praying for him, asking Jesus to make him feel better.  Their prayer go like this: "dear Jesus, thank you for our sins.  Please help Nolan feel better drinking milk from mommy's ti ti (breast) so we can play Lego and go to the beach".  It's freezing cold here still, I don't think we'll go to the beach anytime soon :-)  the beach will have to wait ! thank you Jesus for helping Nolan feel better though !  I miss sleep and look forward to some shut eyes tonight.