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Sam is 4.

July 9, 2014

May we talk about the boy-child for a minute? Because he is four. FOUR. FOUR YEARS OLD. He is not little anymore. He tells me this all the time. He is four.


I could probably go on forever about the wonderful frustrating world of Sam – he’s delightful; truly he is. He’s fun and compassionate and silly and all of the things that make this age fantastic. Also? He’s a royal pain in the butt who digs his heels in and throws tantrums about things periodically. He’s rigid as anything about transitions – HAAATES Not Knowing what is going on. Even when it is good stuff – surprises are not a good thing for this guy, at least not right now.


But he gets over it and he moves on and he is just so. much. fun.


So several months ago Sam decided he wanted to have an In Summer birthday party from the movie Frozen – featuring Olaf and Sven heavily, but also “all the guys.” Right-o.

I actually thought this was a really fun idea for a June birthday. We came up with this as an invitation:


And then got to work on the ideas. First we needed a “Olaf 4 shirt”. Do you know how hard it is to find a PLAIN muscle tee out there for kids? Man, EVERYTHING has stuff on it. (To be fair I suppose I wanted stuff on his shirt too – I just wanted the stuff I was going to put there!)

With the babies it is FAR more work to try to go to 46 different stores to find what I’m looking for….so pretty much after I exhausted the usual suspects I decided to make my own.

I picked up the pattern for the Maui Muscle Tee from Peekaboo Pattern Shop and was able to go from no shirt to finished shirt in less than an hour. Seriously, easiest pattern ever. I was even texting my sister during most of the time I was making it. Dead simple.

A little messing around with Picmonkey, a free Olaf graphic, some iron on transfers and fabric paint, and voila – a 4 Olaf shirt.


And because I’m me and can’t leave well enough alone, here’s the back:


Next up – find some things for all these crazy kids to do. (Sam was adamant that he wanted “all the kids he knows in the whole world” to come to his party. And their families. We cut him off at 12 but yeesh. I may be in trouble when this kid is in full-time school and meeting even more people.)

We figured we would basically turn them loose in the backyard and let them run and dig in the sandpit and play on the play structure.


My friend Lisa drew and AWESOME picture of Sven, which we hung on the fence:


and my brother’s girlfriend drew a wonderful Olaf for “Pin the nose on Olaf.”

We buried about two dozen little frogs and lizards in the sandpit for them to find.

I also got playmobil minifigures and froze them in Ikea bowls of water – we gave each kid a block of ice and told them to figure out how to get the guy out.


It was fun watching them work on it. They tried things like putting them in the wading pool to start them melting…


and then used rocks to chip at them some more until they were free.


PRO TIP – if you are going to do this (really fun activity that totally kills a solid 20 minutes), first make sure you assemble the minifigures. Most of them come with accessories, which I didn’t include in the freezing (I was worried about them getting lost) – I just put the accessories into the kids’ party bags so they would have them afterwards. Also, these little suckers float – so start by half filling the bowl with water and let that freeze. When it’s frozen, pour water over the top and let it finish freezing. I added some blue food colouring to the water to make it look a little more “frozen-y” – but you don’t have to!

We were planning a snowball fight, but since we did NOT luck out with the weather (it was overcast and pretty cool), we ended up not hauling out the water balloon “snowballs”. Of course we DID fill them ahead of time, and they are currently residing in my laundry room sink.

I’m looking forward to a date in the not too distant future where I nail the kids from the upper deck while they play in the backyard. Ahem.

So lets talk about the cake. Birthday is ALL ABOUT THE CAKE for Sammo. I don’t know if it’s because most of the time when he is at OTHER kids’ birthday parties he isn’t allowed to have the cake because of his allergies? I am not sure. But regardless, cake to share with his friends is completely where it’s at for him.

He had a vision for this cake. He wanted it to feature Sven and Olaf, but also Kristoff and Anna and Elsa could be there too. He wanted the lake. And snow. And for it to be “two circles.” I made the mistake of showing the boy pinterest. You see where this is going right??



Now can I tell you something? I do not like baking very much. It’s messy. I am always sticky at the end of it. There is always a huge mess to clean up. It’s just…I’d rather do fabric, is the thing.

But the boy wanted a cake. I cobbled this together from about five different websites and ideas. I made a big sheet of blue hard candy to use as the “lake” but then decided that I had this great big piece that would look super cool stuck to the back….so I went with it.


I used a buttercream icing (blue) to ice the cake, and then – because I don’t really like fondant and it’s a hassle to make – I learned about marshmallow fondant which is AWESOME and EASY and also? Tastes like marshmallows. So that worked really well for the snow. I was able to put sections of blue candy on top of the cake for the ice lake and then cut a hole in the fondant before laying it on top so it looked like snow around the lake. It worked pretty well I think!


And Sam….well. Sam really LIKED the cake, but he thought I did it wrong. Apparently the “two circles” were not supposed to be the same size. Yup. Oh well.

The best part of the day was that Sam had a blast. He was with his friends; he was running around; he was HAPPY. SO happy. And it was a really fun and joyful thing to be able to focus on him a bit.


Happy birthday not-so-little guy. Love you to bits.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Hubby permalink
    July 9, 2014 12:30 pm

    I think he comes by the dislike of surprises honestly. I recall loving my surprise birthday weekend in Quebec City, but had some issues not knowing the details ahead of time =D

    Hope Sam doesn’t outgrow his strider bike. I mean, I do, but I don’t.

    4 is the new 6. Carefree and happy days…

  2. Cha cha permalink
    July 9, 2014 2:27 pm

    That kid is getting an adult-sized strider bike, then. Boom. Brother > uncle. Lol

  3. July 9, 2014 9:16 pm

    Now that’s a party! Next time I turn 4, I’m calling you guys. Also, I like Sam. That is all.

  4. July 10, 2014 8:06 am

    Love this so much! Especially the frozen game. Your kids are lucky to have such a creative mama. Happy 4th Birthday, Sam!

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