A Little Child Went Ka Choo

These last few weeks have been one legends are made of, Oh not in the ‘real’ world, but in our house.

The beginning of November started off with the throw-ups.  First down was A, at a fort at the beach.  {During my friends Christine’s visit from the Chicken Coop}  We went to the beach on a very cold and windy day, after fighting the wind and braving the cold, we went to the fort.  What the fort’s actual purpose was, I have no idea.  Instead of reading all the little historic information placards I was helping a little girl not get throw-up all over herself.  Just a friendly FYI, if you throw-up into the wind, it will come back at you with amazing speed and accuracy.  She was sick the entire ride home, poor J had the responsibility of sitting next to her taking care of her and helping her out.  After the 3rd time being sick in the car and using up all the stray cups, J said “I do not like this seat.”  Almost 2 weeks later the others also had the stomach bug.  You know my family when one gets it, they ALL get it.  One night J said his tummy hurt, after dinner and after a treat of ice cream. I told him he was fine, but a full trash can 5 minutes later proved me wrong. You would think I would learn… Not 5 minutes after he finished, E said her belly hurt, again I told her she was fine. And 5 minutes after that she also proved me wrong. Now I was anxious to see who was going to be sick next. Not to wonder long, R woke me around 3am. Where should he put his trash can, it was full. Two days later O joined in the fun. Although she was only sick once. The thing about this stomach bug, it was fast, literally 5 minutes after the first funny feeling. It was also short-lived. After 12 hours it morphed into a fever and migraine. The weird thing is the next day it showed up as a cold for all of the kids who got sick.  For 2 weeks at least one, but mostly 2 kids have been sick with a cold.

Annoying.

This last week I kept J home on Monday, he had a lingering annoying cough.  On Wednesday Keith flew to Boston, on Friday the school called.  It was the nurse, J was sick, I needed to come get him.  Because it was grandparents day that morning I knew nothing academic was happening in the afternoon I checked out both J and E.  Home and right to bed, J had the chills and felt cruddy.  But the funny thing E fell asleep on the couch watching tv with A.  Ellen brought O and R from school, when R came in the house, he went right to bed, he too had chills and felt cruddy.  By night fall I was sure we had the flu at our house.  Early Saturday morning I called the doctor’s office to get in for flu testing.  While on the phone the very sick kids convinced me they were  healthy.  But, by night fall they were obviously not fine.  So early Sunday morning I called the office again. I thought it was possible strep.  The ginormous tonsils and white spots on the throats were the give away.

The office did not have 6 openings, they gave me a spot, but I was to bring in the rest, they would do a rapid steep test on everyone, then work in appointments after the results.  Perfect.

I made Keith go along, to experience the full effect of 6 kids in a closet like space with no exit in sight.  We arrived and because Sundays are truly sick kids only we were one of the 3 families there.  We were taken right to a room.  All 8 of us into a closet sized room.  The nurse was very organized and came in to gather all their vital statistics.  After she collected them in a very organized order, which does not often happen when someone else is in charge of a group this size.   We all went to gather weight and heights.  We learned 2 different things, 1 R is only a quarter of an inch away from 6 feet.  My little peanut of a boy is now a very tall kid, he actually grew 6 inches in a little over a year.  No wonder he was constantly outgrowing his pants…  And thankfully the tiny little baby has gained a few more ounces.  She is now 12 pounds and 3 ounces.  Not a lot of weight but it proves the hard work of getting her to gain weight is working.  She is still super tiny but she is growing.  Finally.

We went back to the room, the nurse had labeled the glass tubes for the strep test with their letters.  A girl after my own heart.  O was the easiest to swab.  She opened up, did not gag and did not cry.  PS was next, I held her down and pried her mouth open, she left substantial teeth makes in my fingers.  A gagged, E gagged and cried, J gagged and so did R.  I did hold the little girls heads back and still just making it go faster.  We were told to take our shirts off and given paper robes.

After she left us to our own devices, chaos ruled.  At one point J was flexing on the floor, A was laying under the table, and PS was crawling all over the place, (the room is carpeted) O became restless and tore R’s paper shirt making him look like the hulk.  O then complained that the room smelled like stinky feet.  A was doing tummy tricks E was huddled in the corner a little worried.  I had a child open the door but we were so loud I quickly changed my mind.  A spent the next 10 minutes climbing all up and down on the table.  By the time the nurse practitioner came in the room that paper cover was a wrinkled mess.

1452573_10206002342003877_7771278535212406622_nAll 6 kids came back with a positive on the Step Test.

That is right, all six kids were sick.

When we get sick, we all get sick,  the family that gets sick together, stays together…  or something like that.  We will be contagious for 24 hours. After 24 hours I will be washing the ENTIRE house down with Lysol wipes to insure that we will not pass this on to the family for Thanksgiving day!

ALL SIX How is that possible!?!?!?

What about you, ever have strep?  Ever have the entire family sick with strep at once?

Go hug your kids and remember to be thankful and try not to let the business of the holiday take away your joy.
jen

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Alice in Wonderland post 6 or Props

This is it, the final Alice in Wonderland post.
Props.
Again this musical was the Prince Street Players Alice in Wonderland.
My Pinterest board of set ideas has been cleared of all Alice evidence and this week I am meeting with TE the musical director to start planning and talking about the next musical.  It looks to be a doozy and in a few weeks when the name is released then I will again slam Pinterest with ideas to copy.  I apologize in advance if you follow me on Pinterest.

Without further ado…

Trees/MushroomsIMG_2000 IMG_1982 IMG_1983 IMG_1981Music room/croquet match trees
These were made with giant sheets of cardboard cut into the shapes of a deck of cards,  2 of each shape, painted and then attached to thin plywood (we tried cardboard it was not strong enough, the morning after we made them they were laying bent and sad.  So we removed the cardboard tree trunks and used the plywood.  We attached the stems to a 2×4 cut in 6 inch lengths, screwed that onto a 1inch plywood base and then used screws and heavy duty staples.  The roses are glued into place as well as the music symbols.  We added the glitter after dress rehearsal wen the musical trees faded into the background.IMG_1995 IMG_1998 IMG_1997 10744577_10205759720658495_1849677270_n 10728993_10205759716658395_1628212839_nOur floating trees and mushroom boxes.  The trees were made from styrofoam, attached to plywood on carpet to slide easier.  The tree tops-mushroom tops were originally styrofoam but I was convinced that the drop cloth fabric would look better, and they were right it did!  The bases are covered in indoor/outdoor carpet stapled onto the plywood base.  Ropes were uses for pulling.  The small mushroom toad stools were the standard black boxes we’ve used for years, painted flat black then using the mushrooms on the backdrop as inspiration they were painted up while I sat and nursed the baby on stage, behind closed curtains.

Random props10567909_10205341664967364_312311194_n 10653986_10205341668167444_1145114961_n IMG_1990 IMG_1991 IMG_1992 IMG_1993 IMG_1994
Giant Tea cup from Walmart garden center
Giant cupcake from the Wilson Cupcake Cake mold and plaster of Paris
Giant Lemon foam footballs spray painted yellow and cut in half
Giant spoons are plastic cooking spoons spray painted silver
Giant sugar cubs are styrofoam cut into cubes, painted white and glittered
Giant tea cake was yellow bunting pan and red plate both purchased at a thrift store and glued together
Cart all put together {the red watering can tea pot was a distraction and removed during the dress rehearsal}IMG_2003A close up of the tea party propsIMG_2005Drink Me
A 2 liter bottle emptied and painted mushroom red, the label was printed and then “aged” with brown paint.  {Originally we wanted real strawberry pop in the 2 liter but it was just too awkward for the table girl to hold.  The giant baby rattle was from Party City.IMG_1986Table that grows and shrinks.  We added a tap light to the bottom for light on her face and changed out the table cloth from plastic to the same shimmery blue as the “sea of tears” and the door.  Table model is AM who only came to paint because we would give her straight lines, after breaking her in with the giant checkerboard canvasses she was willing to try some not so straight lines.  As a bonus PS grew to really like her, frequently falling asleep in her arms at the end of the work day.IMG_1987Extra large hearts were for the King and Queen of Hearts.  They were plastic baseball bats with large cardboard hearts painted on then glued together.  The flamingo head is from the croquet party and was purchased as it is.  10728805_10205759713138307_951810391_nOn Stage 3rd period babysitter.  He came every single day and held baby PS and played with little A.  Every. Single. Day.  He had a study hall and with a pass joined us on stage.  I worked fast and furious when he showed up since PS loved him and did not cry I felt like I could really work hard and fast.  10736056_10205759713098306_1440406898_nO joined us during her lunch period every day, she would hold PS and eat her lunch, again it was time for me to work fast, with free arms, it was a huge help.  She took little A to Greek class almost every day after lunch which gave our ears a break from her constant chatter.IMG_2013 IMG_2006 IMG_1984The prop table.  The admit one sign was from the thrift store it was part of a 3 piece wall hanging I just yanked it apart and painted it like a ticket, it was perfect and sturdy, the salt and pepper shakers were from a thrift store I really wanted the 2 foot tall ones but did not want to pay that price.  Eat me was a glass jar that I put pumpkin mini muffins in for each production. The blue fabric is the sea of tears, I attached the fabric to wooden dowels with both hot glue and staples.  I did not want to have to fix it between shows.  The bread was from Hob’Lob, and the books were purchased at the thrift store.  We borrowed the gavel from the history teacher, and the deck of cards survived each production.IMG_2011 IMG_2010 IMG_1989 IMG_1988The doors.  Styrofoam layered with thin plywood attached to dowels and then the fabric was glued to the plywood {FYI hot glue and most strong glues do NOT bode well with styrofoam, it melts easily}IMG_1980 IMG_1979Our to do list at the beginning.10743536_10205759713058305_1994429256_nOur to do list the day before dress rehearsal.  10729104_10205759712978303_563880766_nThe rabbit hold sign.  And Little A helping hold it up.  We attached styrofoam signs to the cardboard pole then slid the pole onto a microphone stand.  The whole thing stood a little wonky but was perfect.IMG_1978This little girl was done with the whole process, hated her play yard with a passion, and was almost able to climb out, but when you don’t yet weigh 11 pounds it is easy to climb the side of a play yard.  She never fell out, but I have a feeling if we had been there one more week she might have toppled over the edge.  10706465_10205494598670611_1526445077_nNext time this little helper will be in kindergarten and won’t be on stage helping us paint.  We will miss the funny, little scooter riding, chocolate chip eating, chocolate milk drinking, bbq chips eating, singing frozen songs, watching little Bill,  little girly, now who will entertain us and PS when she is not making a great escape?

Until next year, no more musical posts.  R you can come back now…  I promise I think this is it.

Thank you for staying here as I put off and put off and put off the final post on Alice In Wonderland.  Come back soon I promise not to talk of props, or trees, or mushrooms but instead I will fill you with entertainment from my family.

Go hug your kids, they need your love.  We’ve been reminded again how very short life is.  Please go hug your kids, and call your mom!
jen

Alice In WOnderLand 5

Alice in Wonderland Prince Street players part 5

The Queens Red and Black and a castle wall with hidden hearts, like hidden mickey only no mickey.  Or if only we’d had those gigantic castle walls that gentleman donated to us to use, but then the walls were built and we are a one and done set group.

Are you about ready for this series to be completed?  R is, he told me so, he actually said he is *gasp* skipping these, they don’t interest him so he did exactly what I suggested skipping until a new title comes up.

Without further ado…

954593_10205759716498391_481821015_nIn keeping with the moving along of the musical we designed the castle outer walls to go up for a scene sticking out of the curtains, while they prepared the stage for the final scenes.  We had the castle walls on sliders which turned around to be the Queen and Kings throne chairs.    The flat boxes have carpet under them for sliding and rope hand pulls for pulling them along.  Do you see the Queen of Heart’s hearts in the castle walls?  We painted the walls gray then AV drew up the individual stones as they were outlined we added some shading to the stones to give them some life.  In the end AV also added a little green moss/plants to make it look even more castle wall like.10659365_10203697020598950_2188705940757195585_nI’m not sure what this scene was actually called but the mock turtle teaches the gryphon and Alice the “turtle tango” it was cute and funny.10728787_10205759716458390_2051510701_nOn the reverse of the castle walls was the queen and king throne.  We love the mess checkerboard it sits in front of the red and black precise square checkerboard so it stands out better than if it were perfect squares.10726493_10205759716538392_2085078649_nThe throne walls almost completed.  Right after we took this picture Keith came up to tell us something and pointed out the white along the top, we made fun of him being so tall he noticed but he was right, we edged the top in black so it would not stick out.  We used piano benches that one of the moms covered in black fabric with red jewels and red feathers for the throne seats.  She said she tried to make it as gaudy as she could.  It was perfect.10644441_10203697021038961_9195758302120756426_nAlthough you cannot see the benches you can see how the wonky checkerboard stands out against the neat checkerboard.  A little touch of gold paint and glitter made them pop even more!

We are almost done with Alice, are you glad?  I have to point out that we had an entire suite of cards on stage and their costumes were adorable!  the kids looked great!!!  In order to decide which card each child was the director had a deck of cards, shuffled it than had each child choose a card, now they had their part.  A truly clever way to decide who goes where.  Their costumes were felt aprons with felt shapes and numbers on them.

What about you, are you a fan of Alice in Wonderland?

Go hug your kids, they need your love, and life is too short to be too busy to show the love.
jen

Again we have these pieces for sale if you are interested in these for your school or production group please contact me via the blog and I can work with you.