Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Frankenweenie Birthday Party

This little spitfire turned 11 years old a few weeks ago.  It doesn’t seem real to me.  She’s as tall as her 7 year old little brother and acts younger than a pre-teen but unfortunately that doesn’t mean everything  is delayed.  Her body is changing and, emotionally, I’m not ready for it yet.  It just doesn’t feel right when it still seems she’s a few years younger than her actual age.  But that’s what happens, ready or not, she’s growing up!  She has her 5th grade maturation program coming up in a few weeks but I think we will skip it since I won’t be in town.   So many changes come with this age . . . only one more year in elementary school and then she’s off to middle school and we’re still not sure what we are going to do for her school placement next year.  If inclusion will still be in her best interest or if a cluster setting at a different middle school, away from all of her neighborhood friends is a better fit.   Ugh.  It’s just too much to think about right now so I just pretend like it’s years away.  

Morgan’s favorite activities are swimming and watching movies so I knew she would be excited about doing one of those things (once again) for her birthday party this year.  I thought she would want a Hotel Transylvania party since she loves to watch that movie over and over again and got so excited to wear the Harry Potter cape at Griffin’s party and kept saying “Look!  I’m a vampire!” but when I asked her she kept saying, “Nope.  Frankenweenie Party!”  There was no changing her mind.  She was set on it! I wasn’t sure what we could do for a Frankenweenie party but somehow it all came together and ended up being a really fun birthday party!

We started her birthday with her favorite foods for breakfast--sausages, strawberries, jello with whip cream and chocolate milk.  Then she had a few minutes to open some gifts.  She was excited to get the Frankenweenie books and stuffed animals.  She only likes to open a few gifts and then she’s done for the year.  We have to almost force her open the rest of them.  So I try to keep our presents to a minimum for her.

Gift that came in the mail from Nan and Papa

Morgan talked about her birthday for weeks and was so excited that it was finally here.  She was all smiles and laughter in the morning until she found out it was a school day.  “Nope.  No school for me today.  It’s my birthday!”  And any good mom would have just let their child stay home from school on their birthday but this mom had way too much left to do to be ready for her birthday party and needed that break from all of the kids.  So I tried to make up for it with a birthday treat delivery to her 5th grade class.

Then it was time for her birthday party.  I lucked out on the decorations with her birthday being the month before Halloween.  I was able to find lime green halloween decorations that coordinated with her Frankenweenie theme and when else can you find bone sprinkles for the table and cupcakes?  All of the Frankenweenie dolls were marked way down on Amazon since the movie came out last year so, of course, I bought them all.  

We started with a Frankenweenie dinner-- green jello, green grapes, “weenies” (pigs in a blanket), chips and green soda. 

The Party Guests

There were lots of gifts with so many friends which takes a long time because Morgan likes to check out each gift and play with each one before opening the next one.  She was not happy about being rushed or about having to open more gifts.

Morgan with her buddy, Paxton.  He has always gone out of his way to look out for Morgan-- requests the seat right next to her in the classroom, asks if he can be her reading partner, etc.  One day when I was asking Morgan if she had fun swimming at my parents’ house with lots of neighborhood friends she said, “Yes!  And Paxton?”  “Oh.  Did you have fun with Paxton?”  “Yes!  He’s my cousin!”  Which is her way of saying he’s so much more than just a friend.

Grandma and Grandpa came to the party too!

Make a wish!!

After cupcakes and ice cream, it was finally time to watch FRANKENWEENIE.

Gift bags:  
Frankenweenie character mask (“Weird Girl” was the party favorite)
"Turtle Monster" green slime ($ section at Target)
Frankenweenie soda 

And since she’s 11-- here are 11 things you may not know about Morgan:

1.  I think she is going to grow up to be a sound effects artist.  She loves to watch movies with subtitles because she likes to read along and say the lines with the actors.  All of those random sound effect sounds?  Yep, they also get subtitled.  I never really thought about it until we were on a hike this past summer and stepped on a branch,  Morgan said, “twig snapping”.  I wasn’t sure what she said so I asked her again and she repeated, “twig snapping”.  I couldn’t stop laughing but at the same time, was excited to hear her use new vocabulary that she picked up all on her own from subtitles.  She has now become our official closed captioning commentator.  For example, we were sharing a hotel room on our last trip to Lake Powell and Ryan would not be quiet as we were trying to fall asleep.  Yawning too loud.  Pretending to sneeze.  Knocking on the nightstand.  Morgan was quick with each reprimand, “Stop sighing!  Stop sniffling!  Stop sneezing!  Stop knocking on the door!”  Then the other day she was petting our neighbor’s dog and the dog was making her dog sounds as she was excited to be getting loves.  Morgan quickly said, “oh, she’s whimpering”.  And she couldn’t have chosen a better verb!  Of course, there is always bad that comes with the good, like the words we don’t want her to know and repeat. 

2.   She’s in 5th grade and goes to her neighborhood school.  She has a morning aide and afternoon aide who are very loving and patient with her.  They know Morgan well since they were both with her last year as well.  

3.  She is a great reader and loves to read Pinkalicious books, church song books, subtitles and whatever books are around.  She reads on a 4th grade level.

4.  Spelling is her best subject in school.  She usually gets 100% on her tests and has the same words as her peers.

5.  She started swimming for the Special Olympics this fall.  She loves going to swim team but is still working on swimming the full length of the pool instead of floating or underwater swimming to the bottom of the pool.  She competed in her first meet last month and got a bronze medal.  She took 3rd out of 3 swimmers (that’s a nice way of saying she took last.)  She has her first state meet this next weekend.

6.  She still cheers with Elite Angels and loves the competitions and performing but doesn’t love the practices.

7.  She has sensory issues with her feet and hates shoes and socks and wants to wear flip flops everyday.  Which doesn’t really work that well in Utah with our cold winters and lots of snow.  

8.  She holds all of her dolls by their head (Jessie, Merida and Tangled are her favorites) as she watches movies or reads books with them.  They help read the book or act out parts of the movie.  She’s recently started talking to herself through her doll.  It’s actually been interesting to listen to her talk back and forth with the doll and get a glimpse into what she is really thinking.  She has detailed conversations with them.  Morgan is the naughty one and the “barbie" is the parent. 

For example--
Morgan: “Oh my God!”  (a phrase we don’t use but she picked up from subtitles and movies)
Barbie:  “You shouldn’t say that.  That isn’t nice.”
Morgan: “Oh I’m sorry!  My bad!”
Barbie; “That’s ok.  Just don’t say it.”
Morgan: “Ok” 

9.  She works hard every day at school to earn a “Super Day” which means she earns watching her favorite movies on the computer after school.  Of course she can’t watch them without subtitles, Jessie and skipping back to the same scene over and over and over again.  

10.  Morgan loves to sing and the first time I heard her singing “Reflection” from Mulan it was like the first time I had ever really listened to the words of that song.  The words took on a whole new meaning as I listened to Morgan sing the song.  
Look at me, 
I will never pass for a perfect bride, or a perfect daughter. 
Can it be, I'm not meant to play this part? 
Now I see, that if I were truly to be myself. 
Who is that girl I see? 
Staring straight back at me? 
Why is my reflection someone I don't know? 
Some how I cannot hide, Who I am. 
Though I've tried. 
When will my reflection show? 
Who I am 

11.  Stats.  Height and Weight =  4’2” and 65 lbs.

And one more just for fun-- She never hides her excitement or frustration.  You definitely know when Morgan is happy because you will hear lots of “whees” and “woohoos”!!!

Happy 11th Birthday Morgan! We are so lucky to have you in our family!  We love you!


Becca said...

So beautiful, and so mature!! Wow, 11! I loved watching the videos and reading the 11 things about her - great post, and a really fun-looking birthday party - I'm impressed!!

Carpentier said...
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