Tag Archives: birthday

Explosions and goo – a science party!

Today heralded the middle chick’s birthday party. She and I decided, with the help of Pinterest, to have a mad scientist’s party. I am exhausted, but she reports that it was the best party ever, and her friends were all very excited by it all. The preparations involved a trip to Costco at midday on Saturday – a mistake I will NEVER make again. However this morning, a bizarre thing happened, and we were ready for the guests to arrive half an hour before the appointed time. This has never happened before! The difference this time? The three chicks helped. Yes – you read correctly. They helped! There was assistance galore from the two girls, and even a modicum of following instructions from the boy. It truly was miraculous!

The explosions I hear you ask?

I warned the little scientists that the nature of experiments meant that some might not work. The first experiment – making elephant toothpaste – was a bit of a fizzer. But not in the way that we expected. Instead of our mixture foaming up and out of the bottle, it slowly fizzed and rose over half an hours, then slowly subsided. A good lesson in not always succeeding! We used the instructions from Preschool Powol Packets but don’t be dissuaded by the fact that ours didn’t work – I was using 3% hydrogen peroxide and they recommended at least 6%.

Next we made time bombs – vinegar and water in a bag, then added baking soda in a folded piece of paper towel, sealed it and waited. We probably went a bit overboard on the papertowel so they took a while – but the suspense was delicious! And they DID explode!  We found the instructions at Geeks Raising Geeks .

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To counteract the delayed gratification experiment, the next one involved instant effects. The ingredients? Diet Coke and Mentos. I read about this on a number of sites after the middle chick requested it. The main trick with this one is to get the original Mentos, and drop them in at the same time if possible. We made a paper tube and had a piece of paper that was pulled out to drop the Mentos in. On the first go we used 4 Mentos. Second time round we used 10. For the third bottle we used 14. Each time the eruption was larger with more Mentos. The kids loved it – smiles, amazement and delight!

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Eruption number 2 (10 Mentos)

After a bit of refuelling with snacks the next experiment was making bouncy rubber balls. No photos unfortunately but they did enjoy the sticky-ness that turned into bouncing balls. Only a couple of failed experiments with this – the birthday girl and my boy – one had the mixture too dry and the other too wet! The recipe for these was from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.

The final experiment? Making their own “Lava Lamps”. We found the instructions at SL Smith Photography. The ingredient that made them bubble was Alka Seltzer. I had planned to send them home with a tablet each to show their families but they had so much fun doing it at the party that the tablets were all used up. I suspect that any brand of fizzing or effervescent tablet would work. Again there was much oohing and aahing.
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Lots of fun and only a bit exhausting for the hostess! Luckily my beautiful friend Ms C stayed to assist with the festivities – what a godsend! Although it went well I think it might be a while before I decide to host another party at home!

The rest of the week has been a return to our routine. I have been back at work and the chicks back at school. The boy has had a good week – the strategies that the school and I agreed on appear to have worked so far. With the good weather they have all been riding to and from school with Miss N supervising – it took a few days for them to settle down for her, but now they seem to have it sorted. I have enjoyed the return to my office and my team. It is busy, but having had my time to rest, I have been able to jump back in with energy.

I did manage a little bit of sewing still – the bag that I posted earlier in the week, plus a few little zipped pouches using laminated cotton for the outer. Then, thanks to the request for a pattern from the lovely Meredithe at Pomegranate and Chintz I decide to make another cross body bag but to photograph each step so that I can write a tutorial for it for you! The photos are done – now I need to sit down and write the instructions!

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Hopefully later in the week……. However before that can happen I will need to buy a new keyboard – after the party one of the chicks helped themselves to some of the lemonade we had purchased for an experiment that wasn’t performed (inflating balloons by tipping ‘Nerds’ into soft drink) and spilt some on the keyboard. The result several hours later? A ‘d’ key and ‘k’ key that are sticking (I have spent most of this post backspacing after each word ending in ‘d’!!

I hope that you are all safe and well. There are terrible bushfires in New South Wales and more weather that will create difficulties for the fire fighters, so my prayers are with them all, and with those who have lost their homes already this week. It is a very early start to our fire season, so I am very grateful that my father did clean my gutters a couple of weeks ago! Thanks Dad!!

Be safe everyone.

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The birthday decisions

The middle chick’s birthday has arrived, which means that I can report on the gift making and decisions! Of course the most important thing to report is that the chicks are home again, safe in the nest. It is delightful to have them back, but very noisy!! I was woken several times in the night by different ones at different times, and then woken very early yesterday morning by the birthday girl who wanted to remind me that we needed to ring her cousin, who she shares a birthday with. I mumbled something suitable (which, I regret to say, was not “Happy Birthday darling”) and went back to sleep. However by 7.30 they had all been woken and presents were presented and admired and enjoyed. (The return to ‘normal hours’ tomorrow is going to be a shock for their mother!)

After my list making last week I decided to make her a kindle cover,

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and to make her a space of her own. She is currently occupying the top bunk, so a curtain,

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a shelf for her treasures and a fabric bucket (that can be hung) to assist in the collation of those treasures (well – to attempt to keep things tidy really),

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and a pin board (not covered in fabric I regret to say) were the contributions to her own space. She is thrilled! Unfortunately the kindle cover is too small (that will teach me to rely on measurements online instead of measuring the device before she left!!) but I have my technique sorted so will make another one with no problem, and she assures me that she will find things to use it for!

Other gifts she received that had the big tick of approval, that might prove useful ideas for anyone else looking for 9 year old girl present suggestions included a gift voucher to do a cooking class, tapestry and cross-stitch kits, and a Science kit – equipped to grow micro-organisms, isolate DNA, and various other experiments. Oh – and her father bought her a camping chair of her own – a Moon chair – that she is delighted with!

Because her father was in town for one more day he was able to take her, the other chicks, and her best friend, bowling for the afternoon, and then in the evening we all went out for dinner, with another family who are great friends of ours, for Teppenyaki – the birthday girl’s request. We very rarely go out for dinner because once we factor in the dietary restrictions, the boy’s excess energy, my usual state of exhaustion, and the expense, it isn’t worth the effort. However it was such a successful outing that we will do it again! The entertainment factor of Teppenyaki helped, with speedy quick chopping, flames, food catching, and general hilarity.

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Their father stayed the night with us before flying out early this morning.  I had one of those delightful reminders about the advantages of not being married to him anymore when his snoring from the boy’s room, where he was sleeping on the trundle (the boy was soooo excited) kept me awake!!  Ah well, you have to laugh!

I can also report that my birthday, after my initial ambivalence, was just delightful! I ended up having impromptu wine with a dear friend at the pub down the road and as the weather was perfect we were able to sit outside and enjoy it. Then dinner out was with another beautiful friend, at a very trendy restaurant called Eighty Six where we let the waiter pick the food for us, with the instruction that we needed room for dessert! He did a superb job and we had a smoked ocean trout salad with poached egg, followed by a lamb ragout with gnocchi. That left room for my dessert of crème brulee with drunken prunes and pistachio biscotti, and hers of lemon curd with elderberry jelly, yoghurt gel and something else that I can’t remember!! Combine that with some wine, a hard lemonade (in other words lemonade with booze in it) and I was in seventh heaven! Didn’t take any photos (was being cool after all) and had a lovely time enumerating the good things about our advanced ages. We both decided that our decidedly reduced care factors were one of the best things about getting older!

Of course what would one of my random blog posts be without an update on my ‘to-do’ list? I can report that the boy’s room was returned to a sensible state, including some sorting of the toy boxes. His wardrobe was cleaned out and changed over for summer. The presents for the middle chick were completed (without me going overboard for once!). The other things? Not yet. But the weekend is not finished yet!

I hope that your weekend is going well.  The weather here is delightful – hopefully you have the same!

My birthday – and a giveaway

Yes, after all the fanfare, waiting, building excitement and drama, it is, in fact, my birthday. To be honest I have been a little ho hum about it. My chicks aren’t with me, so the real celebrations will happen when they return, and we all celebrate the middle chick’s birthday on Saturday. (Let’s face it, any hope of big celebrations for my birthdays disappeared about 9 years ago when I gave birth to my beautiful girl two days after my birthday!) However the day has started well – a beautiful sunny day, a surprise breakfast with the MIML (who has been MIA for a while so doubly nice), a parcel of the most gorgeous fabric from my sister (the one with the matching fabric addiction),

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beautiful messages from my family all over the world (facebook is a gift on days like this!) and a funny card from Miss N telling me that I am not old!!

That is in part because I have realised that I am now officially middle aged. (Sorry Mum and Dad and my various very young Aunts and Uncles who might read this – – but it doesn’t mean that you aren’t middle aged anymore – it just means that we are all middle aged together now!) In an effort to stave off the depression that that phrase brings with it I have fulfilled my plan to re-join the gym (it was lovely to catch up with the owner which means that I will feel good attending too!), I have planned a lovely night out with a dear friend and I have decided to focus on the good things in my life. The list, I am proud to say, is long. And would probably bore you to tears, while making me teary with emotion. Rather than do that (because that is no kind of celebration is it?) I am going to have a giveaway. I want to thank all the people who have supported me this year as I have started my blog, my shop and my journey towards my dream of running my own business (no matter how small!). I have met some great friends online, and some in person, and have enjoyed the sense of community that I feel around me. My sewing and blogging have kept me going when things around me felt like they were crumbling.

I have decided to go all high-tech and use a rafflecopter giveaway plan (to prove that despite my advancing years I am not yet a dinosaur!) so the link is on the right hand side of this page. It opens today and closes in a week’s time, and you can earn more ‘tickets’ in the raffle by answering more questions. The prize? I decided to make the prize, given that I think that a little bit of my love goes into everything I make, so it means that I am including that love in the prize. (Oh okay – and the fact that I am loving appliqueing cushions might have something to do with it too!!) So the prize is a custom appliqued canvas cushion with the word or image of your choosing on it – and I will post internationally as well as within Australia. So – to celebrate my advancing years, get clicking!!
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An update on my ‘to-do’ list I hear you ask? (Perhaps!) Yesterday was huge – I joined the gym, AND did a workout. I cleaned out the car, unpacked and repacked the camping trailer, made two of the gifts for the middle chick (and one involved using the drill and the saw!!) (the mystery shrouding my efforts is because the cheeky chicks sometimes read the blog while they are away!), vacuumed the house, walked the dog, did some weeding, made a present for my sister and mailed it, and re-photographed a couple of items in better light. Phew!

Today in honour of my birthday I might go a little lighter on the heavy lifting and focus on some toy sorting as my treat (oh yeah, I am partying hard!). Or I might lie in the hammock. With a gin and tonic. The options are endless!  I hope that you are having a wonderful day wherever you are!

A decade of love

My eldest chick turned 10 today.  I tormented her by saying that it wasn’t her birthday until the time she was actually born – 5.15pm – but we actually spent the day celebrating in a number of ways.  She climbed into my bed early this morning – most unusual for her – and we had quiet cuddles.  Once her brother and sister were alert we opened presents.  She loves her homemade presents as well as her other presents!  We then sat down with the photo album and went through the photos of when she was born and the first 6 months of her life (after which we moved to a digital camera and there are no more albums!!).  The three of them loved seeing her and all the familiar faces (although younger!!), while I sat there quietly looking at my beautiful big girl, and trying to work out where the 10 years has gone.  That first day when she was bruised and battered from her delivery by forceps, and I was so exhausted from a 36 hour delivery seems like yesterday, and yet we have seen and done so much since then, and here she is in year 5, with so much maturity, wisdom and silly giggles.  So today while the rest of the world celebrated love in all its commercial and non-commercial forms, we celebrated a decade of love because she has only brought love into my life since day one.

Of course now I can share the photos of the presents I made her!  She is a big fan of Doctor Who.  I am amused because back when I was at boarding school and we only had two channels of TV, Doctor Who was one of the only shows that we got to watch – and that was in the early 1980s!  The fact that it is all trendy and shiny now is great as a whole new generation gets to discover the Doctor.  I also thought that turning 10 is that first step towards independence and being her own person, so I made her an overnight bag.  She can use it on sleepovers, on school camp, for visits to grandparents, etc.  I ordered the fabric from Spoonflower.

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I used the tiny tossed Tardis fabric for the lining and gave her a zipped pocket and two slip pockets on the inside.  I used a pattern from Gingercakes for the bag and it was a great pattern to follow.  It comes with a cottage industry license, so I may make some for my shop down the track.

Then I used some of the leftovers to make the iPod touch cover that she wanted.

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She promptly put her ipod straight into it.

Her brother and sister gave her a travel bug ‘trackable’ for use in geocaching.  It is a tag that can be registered, and then when she releases it into a cache she can track where it goes.  The two stones represent her siblings, and she can decide what the target for the cache is.  Her thinking so far is that she will see if it can go to 10 countries and then end up in a cache around the corner from her grandparents house in a country town in New Zealand.  It will be an adventure to follow it – and to see what else it picks up along the way!

 

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She also received phone calls, text messages, emails etc, so was feeling very loved.  Her father delivered presents from himself, his partner and his parents and included a Lego set, so she spent the afternoon building the lego, very carefully, much to the displeasure of her little brother who wanted to be playing with it instantly!!

The birthday girl requested her annual heart-shaped cake, chocolate with dark pink icing, so I obliged.  I did cheat a bit and just add cocoa to a gluten-free packet mix, but it turned out well, so I don’t feel too guilty!  I made her wait until about 5pm before we sang, blew out candles etc.  She was quite tickled by waiting until “I am actually 10 years old”.

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So a decade of loving my funny, smart, loving big girl has been celebrated with much colour and joy.  It overwhelms me to think of the next 10 years and where she will be in her life by then, but I know that it will be a journey that will be made with love and support, so I am trying to just breathe out!

I hope that you have had a day, week and month filled with love.

A delightful Sunday morning

Having now gifted the special birthday girl with her present I can show you the pictures of the bag and notebook cover that I made her this week.  Thinking I might need one for myself………….

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In return the birthday girl shared her birthday treasure trove of a rainbos of macarons, and gave me two to bring home to get me through my first day of work tomorrow.  They might not make it to tomorrow!

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All this and it is only half way through the day.  Hope that your Sunday is going well!

Ideas into action

Sometimes with so many ideas bubbling around in my head it is difficult to get started on anything! Having the luxury of a few days at home while the children are at school (as long as everything keeps running smoothly anyway) means that I have time to sew, etc. After helping out with a morning tea for the parents of the new kinder children this morning I came home and couldn’t decide what to start on!

I checked my To Do list for February, but of course ended up starting on something not on the list…… a familiar occurrence! (I did then tackle an item from the list later so feel suitably virtuous!) The eldest chick has a birthday next week – one that is celebrated by people all over the world with hearts and flowers. I tell her that it is because the whole world loves her – and she rolls her eyes and laughs at me, while still requesting a heart-shaped cake for her Valentine’s birthday. Anyway – I have made her ‘big’ present but still had some smaller things I wanted to do. I was able to speak to her father this morning and we are agreed that she can now be allowed to have her ears pierced if she wants to, so that is a big thing to help with signifying her move to ‘double digits’. But I still wanted a more personal gift from me. She has been requesting a new case for her iPod touch, with ‘a flap that closes over the screen when you aren’t using it’. I have been keeping an eye open in the shops but the only ones I have found are black, leather and expensive. Not her at all! So today I devised a fabric one – using the special fabric from Spoonflower that I used for her bigger present. I couldn’t work out how to include a hole for the camera on the back, or the earphone jack, but apart from that I am happy with it as a first effort. Photos will follow the birthday!

I have also been toying with the idea of a fabric cover for the notebook that I carry at work – it goes everywhere with me, is full of extra bits of paper and records everything I need to remember…..and then is often never looked at again. I also have some birthdays coming up for people who would also love that splash of colour in their office life, so I sat down today and started work on one. I have it all cut out and all the interfacing in, but am still thinking about whether I want it to have pockets for business cards and pens in the front……so I am going to sleep on that one.

My final effort was from my list – I went through all those lovely piles of fabric to find the right blend to make some pillowcases from. I am happy with the end result (although a couple of seams could match better, I am trying to let go of perfectionism!) but am trying to decide whether to add crocheted edges to them.

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I had been thinking green cotton crochet around the end of the case (which has the fabric with the bunting on the reverse side), but then started to wonder whether it would mean that this wasn’t a case to be used in boys’ rooms. So I am interested in your opinion! All input on the question of crochet vs non-crochet welcome!

I hope that you had a great day of putting your ideas into action!