So, first things first. We decided to go ahead and pick up our Christmas tree yesterday. We decided last year that when we moved to America, we were going to start a new tradition of having a real tree. We've always wanted to do it, and what better time to start new traditions than a mega-huge life change? It wasn't going to be nearly as expensive as we thought it would be, and I always put up my tree the day after Thanksgiving (or the Saturday after, which is probably more accurate), so yesterday we went for it. We didn't go to a nursery this year, we just went to Home Depot and chose one of their 5-6ft Fraser Firs for a brilliant $19.95. The kids (and me) were so excited. We put it up when we got home, and after my mom brought us over some lights, I decorated it. Scott's mum had brought over my box of special keepsake tree ornaments from Scotland, and they ended up being just the right number to cover our tree. It feels so wonderful, and I love the smell. I think it's making me sneeze, but it's worth it.
|We love our tree, painstakingly chosen from the front of the pile!|
We also started our Elf on the Shelf tradition yesterday.
Then last night after the kids were in bed, we set him up with his first mission - to deliver the Advent Activities to the Advent Calendar.
He made himself a bridge from the mantle to the Advent Calendar with clothes pegs. Then he twisted himself up in the string to pocket each of the letters for each day.
|Isn't Banoffee so cheeky and cute?|
First thing this morning (at like 5am), Fifi came running into my room with Number One to tell me that the elf had put out the Advent Calendar. 'Put it back, go back to bed, and we'll look when Lolly wakes up!' was my grumpy, half-sleeping reply.
Today's activity was to have Lolly's Superhero Powerpuff Girls birthday party. She doesn't turn five for another couple of weeks but having a birthday the week before Christmas always means no one can come to a party, so we usually have her parties a few weeks early. Her new obsession, which has somehow actually eclipsed her previous two-year long obsession with Dora the Explorer, is The Powerpuff Girls. I'm talking OBSESSED.
I made her a cake.
Nine different colors I had to mix up for icing, and the end result was kind of pathetic looking, but she was really excited anyway. I didn't let her see the cake until the party, and when I unveiled it, she was very happy. Unfortunately, her initial reaction was missed by my camera, so here is her posed look of pleasure.
For the party, I sewed twenty - yes, twenty - superhero capes for party favors, in Powerpuff Girl colors. Trick: Instead of buying fabric for large projects like this, I buy flat sheets. Loads of fabric for a fraction of the cost. I also ordered some masks online and some rubber bracelets with phrases like 'Krash!' and 'Kapow!' on them. Those three items, plus some blue candy canes (the blue PPG Bubbles being Lolly's favorite) and a tiny felt superhero cape Christmas tree ornament (made by me about thirty minutes before the party started) were the party favors. I loved seeing the kids run around in their capes but was sad that several kids left theirs, I guess unaware they were meant to be taken home.
I had lots of really cute ideas for decorating the house but never really had the time to implement them. Five minutes before the party though, I did do this:
|The city of Townsville....|
I thought that was pretty cute. Scott won't let me keep it there above the couch indefinitely though. Boo.
We played Pass the Parcel and Musical Heroes (I had the hardest time translating that into American. 'Musical...?' 'Chairs?' 'No! Like, Freeze...' 'Tag?' 'Kind of. Like, when the music stops you all freeze like a superhero?' 'Oh, so Freeze Heroes.' 'Yeah, okay.') Then the City of Townsville was under attack by a terrible monster, so the superheros destroyed it.
|....is under attack by a dreadful monster!|
|And once again, the day is saved, thanks to.. The Powerpuff Logan!|
It was a lot of fun. She also got a lot of sweet toys and some clothes that she really needed and a few other wee things. She was so excited all day, so happy with her party, and so thankful for her toys. Her voice got so high thanking people, I was sure a window was going to smash.
|Superheroes pause for a photo opportunity.|
It was a really fun party. I'm glad it went well. No more parties now until... next month. Fifi hasn't decided what she wants yet, but I'm sure it will require a lot of effort. :)
If you have the time, and probably only grandparents and aunties will, here's a loooong video of the kids meeting Banoffee for the first time.