Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Back to normal

Dear Cynthia,

Congrats on a very successful shower and your adorable little baby booties! Having everything set up half an hour before festivities begin is a skill I've never mastered. (What's your secret?) At our house, a party isn't a party unless I greet the first guest to arrive with my cleaning gloves on and a toilet brush in my hand.

We all survived the birthday party for my ds who turned six years old (which I still can't believe)! Since the day he was born, I've been hearing or reading some of the media, most doctors, and many books all saying to "limit sugar", give him only one serving of juice per day, provide healthy snacks and balanced meals, you get the picture. All of that is countered by what has generally been the reality of kids constantly having opportunities to get food which is not nutritious. The people who advertise all of the "juice boxes", and many other foods which are made with "real juice" try to lead us to believe that "more is better" in the juice department, and it's not really sugar if it is in "juice". Then there are the "special holidays", such as halloween (which I don't consider a holiday, but which is "celebrated" none-the-less), Christmas, Easter, birthday parties, play groups, and any number of other venues which I can't think of right now, and pretty soon the opportunites for kids to accumulate more and more sugar and fat escalate. This has been a lot of verbiage for me to simply say that what is best for my children has not been the easiest road to follow, and though my children have plenty 'o sweets, I often feel like a curmudgeon denying happiness by trying to limit some of the excess.

Anyway, I'm almost getting to the point of this. I have nothing inherently against the little treat bags given away at little kids' birthday parties these days, but I decided that I needed to try to support healthier choices for kids, and not spend money on sweets and junkie little toys to include. So for this party, I spent the same money on 3-packs of Hanes tee-shirts, two buckets of foamie stickers from the craft store (one having all letters in it, the other sea creatures), and six bottles of "spray on" fabric paint from the same craft store (Michaels). The kids each got an envelope containing the letters for his/her name, and a shirt which had a flattened grocery bag inside of it. (I first put each shirt on a large plastic hanger. Then, I put the grocery bag inside the shirt having the opening edges down, so that the bottom fold of the grocery bag could sort of "hang" off of the hanger, so it stayed put inside the shirt.) Then the kids sat down and got to work, sticking their letters to the shirt, and adding the sea creature stickers. Once they were happy with their designs, the kids decided what colors they wanted their shirts to be painted, and each kid watched and directed as a grown up sprayed paint onto his/her shirt. I originally thought the kids would be able to handle the paint, but after a couple of the kids almost squirt it into my eye and on their clothes, I decided it was just better if the kids said what to paint where, and the adults just followed the directions. Anyway, the stickers were removed at the end of the party, after the shirts were dry, leaving behind white shapes and letters. And, they turned out great! A big hit with the kids and their parents, and presto -- the only sugar the kids got from me was in the birthday cake (water was the featured beverage, since we were outside in the heat wave that day).

In knitting news, 715 out of 890 border rows complete on Summer in Kansas. I had thoughts about really pushing myself to finish it this week to wear it for an event this coming Sunday night, but then I remembered about the laundry, cooking, cleaning, and playing with children that all must happen this week, too, so I'm still pushing for an August 4th finish..... But a girl can I've been contemplating the Leaf Lace Shawl from Fiber Trends, out of a heavier, hand-painted yarn :-)

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)
P.S. My next post will have some very, very exciting news about the trip I took to the yarn store this past Sunday!


Designated Knitter said...

What a great party idea!! Those shirts look totally cool, although I got a chuckle from the mental picture of the 6-year-olds with spray paint cans!!

Marie N. said...

Thanks for the great birthday party tips. You've piqied my interest about the trip to the LYS.