The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

Do you want to build a snowman?

on August 31, 2014

I imagine a lot of you are thinking ‘No, I don’t want to build a f-ing snowman.’ Or ride a bike around the halls. Even though I never see you anymore. It’s because I’ve gone away.

Then again, it’s probably because you’re not between the age of one and nine. Ten at a stretch.

Nine months on and #2’s love for all things Frozen is still unabated. We watched the film three times at the cinema. Looked up YouTube videos of ‘Let It Go’ and ‘In Summer’ endlessly until the DVD came out some time in April. Then it was on loop for a good few weeks and now it’s requested a moderate amount of times. Even #3 has gone around yelling ‘Anna’ at every Frozen artefact she sees.

For most of #2’s peers, it’s been all about Frozen for nearly every girl’s Birthday party this year. Whilst it is perceived by a lot of boys to be a ‘girl’ film, it actually holds an appeal for them too and whilst #1 won’t nominate it as a film of choice, he doesn’t kick up a fuss when it is on. Who wouldn’t want cool magical powers? I still fantasise I’m a cross between Piper and Paige from Charmed.

So it was no surprise that #2 has been quite certain since January that she was going to have a Frozen party for her birthday this year.

What does that actually mean? An ice palace with a talking snowman and real life reindeers casually wandering around? Perhaps, if you are the offspring of Kimye. (There was a time when I didn’t know what a Kardashian is and I miss those days)

What would make it a ‘Frozen’ party? I toyed with the idea of inviting ‘Elsa and Hans’ to the party but do you know how much their royalties are out here? It would have been easier in many ways to have someone else lead the party games and entertainment. Especially people who know how to whoop up a crowd of small people who on the one hand are easily pleased and on the other, a tough crowd when they choose to be.

But then I realised it’s probably been the most popular party theme so far this year. There are plenty of people who have done this already with loads of ideas easily accessible all over the place. Pinterest, blogs, parenting websites, word of mouth from people having been to many a Frozen party.

We can do this ourselves.

With the help of some friends of course!

In fact during the party, I was being wrongly complimented on all the things I didn’t do myself.

“Those cake pops look so pretty!” Yes, my friend Mrs Cake Pops did those.

“These sausage rolls are so good.” Yes, my friend Mrs Imperturbable did those.

“Wow, Olaf looks brilliant on the cake, you are so talented!” Erm, not me, my friend Great Singapore Bake Off, (actually in the interests of promoting her business, find her on Facebook at My cakes by Catarina for a look at all her other work and here’s a sample of the other Frozen themed cakes she’s done this year) made him but I did do the base cake if that counts?

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Even most of the decorations were given to me by another friend who had gone through the interior design creative process beforehand.

But then, Friends are what pull a party plan together don’t you think?

This is the tenth Birthday party I’ve organised as Parent and you’d think I’d have it all down pat. Of course not! In between decorating the function room of our condo in two hours before guests arrive and preparing the last minute food items and locating the Birthday Child and siblings to get ready for the event, I’m usually still running around doing ‘stuff’ 15 minutes into the party. It was the same last year. And the year before. I thankfully have good friends I can nominate to be official Greeters. They are the ones who arrive on the dot.

Two hours may not seem like a long time but it’s still two hours that need filling with party games and party food.

Party food is now a blend of 100% sugar products, a smattering of savoury items and a token platter of fruit. I’ve given up going for the sugar free, gluten free alternatives that sort of look like the 100% sugar products but somehow don’t feel quite right. Many of the party guests were actually making their own healthy choices, I was quite impressed. Except for #1, 2 and 3 who mostly went for 100% sugar products and meat products or strawberries covered in chocolate.

With Birthday cake there was hot chocolate and blue jelly with something called coco de nata that made it look like ice cubes. Genius.

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Party games were also sourced through the ideas of others or adapted from well known favourites.

Musical Ice Cubes – like musical chairs, except when the music stops you have to stand upon a sheet of bubble wrap. The resulting popping is even more satisfying than popping by hand. I’ve tried it out myself.

Pass the Parcel – I absolutely love watching children play this game! It cracks me up when either the child starts unwrapping regardless of the music stopping or not; when they procrastinate in passing on the parcel and examine it carefully like it’s some suspicious item you’re told to report upon finding one and then they pass it on v e r y s l o w l y.

I was a bit disturbed at the ‘modern’ version of Pass the Parcel that included a ‘prize’ for every child at each unwrapping so as to be inclusive. Back in my day, there was none of that. Each to their own and only one WINNER. Has it harmed you? But even I am not that old skool and the central prize was more 100% sugar products that the WINNER then had to decide what would be the best thing to do. Even if they didn’t decide for themselves, their supervising Grown Up soon settled it for them that a bag of 25 sugar products is best not kept to themselves.

Post It Tag – It’s like Tag but having to grab Post It notes off each other that are stuck on you beforehand for the duration of one song and the more you collect, the bigger the prize. I made it up myself. Honest.

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Pin the Nose on Olaf – As it says. Except after twirling each child around three times whilst they’re blindfolded and watching them teeter like they’re drunk is quite funny.

Indoor Ice Skating – This was an idea that was used at another party I was told about. Just your average paper plates were used for ‘ice skating’ which probably would have held their attention for a while but the added ‘snow storm’ of bean bag filler changed the atmosphere completely. For children like #1, 2 and 3 who have never seen snow before, the idea of building a snowman is probably the greatest delight they have yet to experience. This kept them entertained for the whole party. All for $20.

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The ensuing clean up operation of the ‘snow storm’ took some time to vacuum up but it was so worth it. It helps to have a glass of something whilst you’re at it too.

Did #2 enjoy herself? I think she did. And I think so did all her friends too. Even the boys. You should have seen all the Elsa’s. All of them so proud to be Elsa. Each one of them wearing different ‘official’ Elsa dresses.

This year for the Birthday sing song, #2 did not proceed to blow a 360 degree raspberry at all her guests but did sharply say to #3 that ‘It’s not your turn #3’ with regards to blowing out the candles. The first time is always for the Birthday Child but the second, third and sometimes fourth time is for everyone to join in. It does help to be inclusive.

So, do you want to build a snowman? I think you do.

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One response to “Do you want to build a snowman?

  1. […] approach I’m trying to promote here, and I am very grateful to her for allowing me to use her original post unaltered – including these lovely wintry-themed […]

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