Casey’s Turkey Party

Today was Casey’s Thanksgiving party at school today and Jack’s was last Friday.  I thought it was nice that they were on different days so I wouldn’t have to run back and forth between their parties.  Unfortunately, Jack didn’t feel well today so he didn’t go to school and I couldn’t make it to Casey’s party.  I made a turkey though…a fruit turkey.  It looked mostly like this:

Minus the peppers and most of the cheese. It turns out the cheese wants to fall apart when I try to put it on skewers. I also didn’t like that you slide the cheese on and then the next set of grapes has to slide through the bits of leftover cheese on the stick. So I made a few with cheese and the rest were just grapes. I should have taken a picture, but you can trust that she was an impressive bird. I scattered the rest of the cheese around the bottom.

When I picked Casey up from school, the cheese was all gone and most of the feathers were still there. I guess it was more of a decorative turkey. Although as I was making it, I questioned whether it was wise to give 3 year olds pointed sticks as part of their snack.  I decided an adult could just de-skewer if necessary.

Also while I was making it, Jack was hanging out in the living room and piped up with, “Casey, would love that Mommy!”  I thought he was impressed with my fruit turkey making skills.  It turns out he was watching a commercial with a 3 story princess dollhouse for the Barbie sized princesses.  It’s exactly the castle that Pat thought should would love but I may have called it gaudy.  It was too plastic-y and purple and pink and fake looking for me.  Luckily we’ve found a compromise castle that maintains the princess part and tones it down a little.

Anyway, back to the party…or the after party…

Casey came home with a couple baggies with the food that I guess she didn’t eat, including a turkey sandwich, pumpkin bread and a pumpkin/cream cheese roll. When I asked what she did eat, she said, “A grape. And some jello.” A lovely Thanksgiving feast.  I’m sure Squanto wishes he’d had Jello at the first Thanksgiving.

Instead of stories tonight, Casey wanted to draw pictures on her erasable sketch pad. She asked me to draw a cornucopia which was pretty funny coming from a three year old. When I asked her to draw a turkey, she started drawing and chatting to herself – “Here’s an eye. Here’s another eye. This is a grape. This is a piece of cheese. There…it’s a turkey! Oh, wait, it needs a wattle.” I think she’s got her turkey nomenclature a little confused. But hey, she knows what a wattle and a cornucopia are.

Casey is also very excited about the real turkey tomorrow. I just hope she doesn’t think it will have grapes on it.

Getting Ready for Christmas 2010

I’ve been going a little crazy trying to get all my Christmas projects done this month.  I’m almost there!  I wanted to have everything done by tomorrow so I can relax and enjoy the next week or so.  The house is decorated, most of the presents are wrapped, Christmas dinner is planned, it’s fairly clean around here and most of my crafty Christmas gifts are made.

We’ve received many boxes this week and the tree has a healthy sprinkling of presents under it.  I pull the presents out of the boxes and they place them under the tree.  Jack and Casey love when boxes come and continually ask, “Is it for me?  Is it for me?” when they hear the doorbell ring.  Which reminds me of a funny story – One day when we were coming into our neighborhood Jack said, “Mommy, I just saw a No Trucks sign!  But that’s funny…because how is the UPS man supposed to come in our neighborhood?”  I had to try to explain that they didn’t want just any trucks barreling through our neighborhood but that the UPS truck was allowed.  I think he was relieved.

Today, Jack and Casey started begging to be able to open just one present.  It’s fun to see them so excited…I remember begging to be able to open “just one” present when I was little.  I have even been tempted to peek into some of the bags this year, but I’ve been good.

And now for a random picture that I’ve been meaning to post:

This is Jack in his turkey costume!  When I was getting some things ready on Thanksgiving Eve, he found this brown bag sitting on the counter and asked if he could have it to make a craft.  A few minutes of hard work later and he donned his turkey costume.  If it looks like it’s greasy, it is…I had originally put the popcorn in it for the popcorn turkey at Jack’s school Thanksgiving party and realized that it was a little greasy.  I switched the bag right before the party.  I think it just makes it look more like a real turkey…right?

And back to Christmas things.  On Sunday, we went to the Children’s Christmas Party hosted by Pat’s ship.  Unfortunately, Pat was stuck on the ship working, but Jack, Casey and I managed to have a great time.  There were 3 craft tables and since Jack hasn’t met a craft he didn’t like yet, he had a great time.  We decorated Christmas cards with stickers, made snowflake ornaments for the tree and made snowman photo frames.  The kids also got presents.  Jack got some cars, colored pencils, a notepad and some Beanie babies.  Casey got two dolls and she loves them so much.  They were so good at this party and we had a great time!

How To Be A Preschool Party Planner

Or at least how I plan a preschool party.

I volunteered to plan Jack’s preschool Thanksgiving party.  The instructions for the party planning parents are “Parties begin at 10:30 and run smoothly with a story, finger foods, a craft and a game.”

The original volunteer was unable to plan the party and I had seen the Halloween party and how it flowed, so I decided I could jump in and plan a great Thanksgiving party.

About two and a half weeks before the party, I started to browse the internet for ideas.  I thought I had it figured out pretty well.  I went to Jack’s teacher and told her my plan.  Then I walked away and felt like my plan was only the start of a plan.

I think preschool teachers have a huge cache of ideas just in their heads.  Meanwhile all my ideas came from hours of searching the internet.  She started talking about making a teepee out of pvc pipes and how much the kids would like that.  The “finger foods” turned into more of a lunch.  She said we could go out to the playground for the game or move into a bigger room and that it would be great if it was something physical.  I think she said something about a high ropes endurance course.  Maybe.  Oh, and maybe some Thanksgiving music while you’re at it.  I’m sure the library will have something.

So I did a little more planning.  Added some more food to my menu.  Decided I needed some help making all that food.  Couldn’t decide what to actually ask other parents to bring.  Finally sent a note home asking for some food contributions.  Messed up when I put the notes in the lunchbox and not everyone got the notes.  Didn’t want to ask parents to help at the last minute.  Ended up making all the food myself anyway.

For a week, it felt like I did nothing but prepare for this party.  Pat laughed at me.  I merely pushed by him to get the scissors to make crafty things.  The night before this party, my kitchen looked like this:

Something on every bit of counter space, a frozen pizza for dinner and obviously that was a great time to get some mopping done too.

Finally, it was time for the show.  And I think it went well although I’m happy I don’t have to do another one until Easter.  (Probably should start planning that now.)

Turkey headbands – I cut out strips of paper to wrap around their heads, turkey heads, eyes, beaks, and feathers.  Probably should have made a model for the kids to copy but I just told them to do what they wanted to.

Pin the feather on the turkey – I created a turkey out of posterboard and cut out a feather for everyone

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Roll – I got this idea from a website called One Charming Party…give two kids each a broom and a pumpkin and see who can roll the pumpkin to the other side of the room faster.  The kids loved it and asked to do it over and over.

Ritz crackers with cream cheese or pumpkin butter spread with chow mein noodles on top to look like a turkey track
Turkey roll-ups
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
Pumpkin Butter Sandwiches
Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

And finally, the part that got the most oohs and aahs, the turkey!
Another fabulous idea from One Charming Party…

Brown paper bags, filled with popcorn, scrunched up a little, placed in a roasting pan to look like a turkey.  I started off snack time by telling the kids that first we were going to carve the turkey.  Jack kept saying, “But I don’t like turkey.  I don’t like turkey!”  I told him I was pretty sure he would like this one.

I think the kids all had fun based on the decibel level in the classroom.  I came home, put Jack in front of the computer playing Sesame Street games and took a nap.  I couldn’t even bear to think of preparing a Thanksgiving dinner or really doing anything except recovering.