Thursday, September 29, 2011

{Scooter Party!}

This was seriously one of the funnest birthday parties I have ever done for my kids!  When I was trying to think of a theme for Ry's 3rd birthday, I really didn't want to get sucked into Toy Story, Cars, or other Disney mania (Disney...I luv ya. No hard feelings).  Since Ry has loved his scooter this summer, I typed in Scooter Party on Pinterest and there it amazing party oozing with fun activities.  Creativity heaven just waiting to be scooped up .  Thanks to Gallamore West for providing such a great party idea.  I emailed her and she even kindly sent me her scooter image that I was able to manipulate and use for all the printing. I am a CPA, so I can totally execute plans, but I love all the right-brain love on the internet!

I was feeling extra I made this cute burlap banner and added some ball fringe to the party hats.
(Pinterest makes you crazy like that).

And I love this felt circle garland.  300 hand-cut circles and my MIL's help with a sewing machine, and I now have yards of garland to use over and over.  I love it!

I found this vintage toy scooter on ebay as part of a doll-house collection for the cake.  So perfect.  But when I put it on top of the cake it sunk into the frosting.  Oh well.  It still looks cute.

All the party guests....Ry's cousins! He couldn't love these guys more.  They truly are his bestest friends. Even the older ones.  He adores them.  Thank you SOOO much to my SIL for driving up from Portland with her boys and my sister (who major injured her back the day before) miraculously making it with her girls!  Ry was in heaven with this crew to celebrate!

Activity #1: Make you own sweet scooter. Royal icing for the glue.

Next up.  Dinner. 
Some of Ry's favorite including hot dogs and donuts.

Activity #2:  Pin the hubcap on the scooter.  Check my mad art skills.

Activity #3: Birthday Parade. 
When I was little I totally remember decorating my bike for the local parade sometime during the summer.  Why don't we do that anymore?? 
The kids thought it was the greatest thing ever. 

Getting the bikes and scooters all decorated.  As luck would have it, we were doing this in the hottest part of the day.  But the kids had a great time perfecting their decorations....especially Paige.  She loves all things art.  It was so cute. She could have spent all day just taping and cutting. And Brynn just got her new scooter the day before as her potty training reward! Good timing!

I also taped playing cards to the bike frames so it would hit the spokes and turn their bikes "into" motorcycles.  My kids still have them on there 3 weeks later. 

Let the parade begin!

After the parade...presents and cake.

And party favors in mason jars.

It was so much fun to plan!  And even better to see the smile on Ry's face.  He loved it. 
The kids were all great and only minor stresses...
 (including Addy spilling juice which attracted bees to the lunch table!   And the unusually hot weather which we aren't used to in the PNW). 

So grateful for this little person all my own.
Happy 3rd birthday to my sweet scooter-loving boy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

{He's Three}

My sweet, little toddler is three!  Rylan's birthday was at the beginning of the month (on our anniversary, remember?).  Hard to believe he is three years old, I really do feel like I just had him.  He is our rambunctious and wild one.  He'll karate chop you and then turn around and melt your heart with his sweet kisses. 

He loves:
  • David Shannon Books:  'No David!' and 'Fergus'
  • Jake and the Neverland Pirates
  • Toy Story movies (going on almost 2 years and still a favorite)
  • Dancing
  • Music.  Current favorites are: Dynamite by Taio Cruz & Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars
  • His scooter.  He wants nothing to do with the tricycle, but man, he can speed by you in his scooter. He's shockingly fast and coordinated with it. His love for his scooter prompted his Scooter Birthday Party (post coming soon!).
  • Grandmas and Grandpas
  • 'Pond Belly' (aka Pine Valley, UT)
  • His blue crocs
  • Toy Story lunch box
  • Trains and matchbox cars
  • Toy Story 'guys' (see what I mean about Toy Story? Man, are killing me!)
  • Chips, Juice, Granola Bars, Popcorn
  • Fries and Pepper!  This is code for: French fries and Root Beer. 
  • Bugs (he calls them 'Bugga Bugs'). He'll reach right down and pick up ants, grasshoppers, etc. 
  • His cousins.  He has a sweet spot for Brynnie.  So glad she lives close by.  And misses, desperately, the others his age: Graham, Owen, Kai, and Beckett who he doesn't get to see as often. 

I love:
  • His raspy voice (just recently referred to an ENT for this...but I think it's just cute).
  • Sweet hugs and kisses.
  • Watching him learn how to hop. He holds one knee up with his hand and with all his might leaps about 1 cm off the floor.  And then exclaims..."I did it!"
  • Bedtime stories.  He is a joy to read to at night.
  • His small size.  He's our little guy...wearing some of the same clothes for multiple years.  Just caught him wearing 12mo. shorts the other day and they still look great.
  • His one liners.  Best one recently was the first time he went #2 in the potty.  "Mom, that was amazing!"
  • His enthusiasm.  He has always been so energetic about everything.  Movies, fast food, lunch, Dad coming home, the phone ringing...pretty much anything. He'll run into the room and say "I love dinner!"  He's a pretty positive kid.
  • His sweet prayers.  He wants it to be his turn for family prayer every night.  They are sweet and tender.

This is hard:
  • Melt downs (semi-frequent). I always say three is worse than two.  I am hoping that is wrong, because two has been pretty dang hard.  I am dreaming of the day when I can reason with him.
  • Potty Training.  It's all relative. He's been my easiest BY FAR.  And he's pretty great at it...the only battle is just getting him to go on his own without my prompt. The stubbornness kicks in big time.
  • Church/Nursery.  Let's just say 1:30pm church does NOT go over well.  Most of the time he falls asleep after the first hour and sleeps through hour #2, and is cranky in hour #3.  I don't see this getting better until we switch to 9:30am church in January.
  • Cleaning up. We are working on it, but he'd rather throw a 30 minute fit instead of spending 2 minutes picking up the cereal he spilled on the floor. Then he'll come up to me and completely switch gears and say "I'm sorry mom" and then clean it up. Don't know why he can't figure out it that it is just easier to do it in the first place! 
  • Going to bed. He's a night owl through and through.  He'll battle us until 11pm or later some nights and finally crash in the hallway or on the stairs.

We had a little family birthday for him on his actual birthday and his Scooter party a few days later.

Making chocolate cupcakes and chocolate frosting with mom.

I made a birthday crown this year because I felt badly I didn't make him a 'back to school' one like the other kids. And he actually wore it!

We love our 3 year old little Ry Ry. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

{Back to School!}

The kids have been in school over a week now.  They have been antsy about it for weeks....packing and unpacking their school supplies, organizing new school outfits, counting down the days.  So fun to see them so excited.  (Although the honeymoon phase is quickly fading...).  I'm excited too...the sibling arguing seems to escalate all summer until I am ready to ban them to their rooms all day.  And then school starts just in time and they just seem to get along better when they aren't together so much. 

We were so glad to find out they have wonderful teachers and adorable classrooms.  We attended back to school night two days before school began to re-learn where everything is (remember they were only in the school for about 7 weeks last year after we moved and before school was out for the summer).  Helping Addy figure out where to line up and where Carson picks her up at the end of the day, and where they meet me after school.  Got that all down.  And school supplies all delivered and tucked away in their desk and cubbies.

And then the night before school started we had our traditional back-to-school feast.  (well, as much of a feast as I can put on which consisted of home-made soup and dessert and pretty much store-bought everything else).  We raced home from soccer to enjoy a little party!  I made crowns this year for the kids (a la nie her!). 

That night Trevor gave them each father's blessings. A little prayer and blessing that things will go well for the kids this year. I love that.  It's such a wonderful start to the school year for all of us. 

And then 7AM came pretty early to these kids who usually are getting up at 8:30 or 9:00! Yah, we are in for a major adjustment!! 

Got to have a shot in front of the front door.  Here's our 1st grader.  She's gone all day!  I miss her!!!  She is my big helper at home and keeps me company too.  She's so excited though, it's hard to be too sad. 

 And this handsome kid, is in 4th grade.  I seriously don't know how I have a 4th grader. I am definitely older than I feel!! And man, he looks so old in this picture!

I am now home with the two little boys and love it (and I'll love it more when that darn tax deadline is over).  We don't have to go anywhere!!  No preschool, no kindergarten drop offs, no dance.  Just my 3 year old and baby. This hasn't happened in years!! It'll be a great (quiet) year...which I am really looking forward to. Ry will have 2 years of preschool starting next year, so I'm not rushing anything and we are just going to enjoy being at home.  Because once school is out, the chaos begins. The start of school also means the start of dance, piano, soccer, and cubscouts!

Here is what Ry and I were up to the first week:
Potty training...a family affair. I don't know who was more excited Rylan or Car and Ads.  They were great cheerleaders!  (And yah, not much modesty here either...).

And yes, Rylan (who turned 3 last week) is potty trained!! I seriously cannot believe how easy it was. It took about 2 days. I am shocked actually. Carson and Addy were the WORST potty trainers ever.  Partly my fault...started too young, I think.  I wanted to wait until Ry was 3, but a week before his birthday he wanted to use the potty so we put him on the toilet and he went.  Ever since then, he's just wanted to use it.  I have to remind him to go in and go, but he goes on demand.  No pull ups (except at night).  Very few accidents (we had a 3 day no-accident stretch going until yesterday).  I have taken him on errands for a few hours at a time and he's been fine.  I still can't believe it even typing this...but I'll take it.  Something has to be easy when the other little boy in the house is crying all the time making me want pull my hair out!  Good job Rylan!!!

And, totally unrelated, but my flowers have been awesome. Remember when I planted all those pots in the spring? They are at their peak right now as we near the end of summer and all the watering and dead-heading is paying off.  They're beautiful! I am not a green-thumb at all, so this is huge for actually keep plants alive the entire summer.  It's such a treat to sit outside and enjoy these!!

And we also have a piles of tomatoes from the garden too.  It's amazing how vegetables will grow when I'm not responsible for watering them...hooray for a sprinkler system in the new house.  Very low maintenance and yummy produce!

I am enjoying the pace and routine after a busy summer.  And the groove we get into when school starts.  If only this warm weather would stick around too...

Thursday, September 01, 2011

{Last Summer Hurrah}

Last weekend we snuck away for one more camping weekend with my sister and her family.  We decided to make it as easy as possible after a summer of chaos.  I think I only spent 50% of the actual summer sleeping in my own bed.  It just seemed to fly by with everything going on. But, we wouldn't have summer any other way.  We love the packed-in schedule and time to vacation. 

So we headed to Dash Point State Park which is literally right outside of Seattle.  Just a skip from my sister's house and about 45 minutes for us.  It was perfect because neither one of us wanted to travel, and we still managed to get our camping fix.  The campground wasn't the greatest.  But we made it work and these ones didn't notice.  My kids adore cousins, Paige and Brynn.  They all had so much fun!

They spent Saturday morning filling most of the roadway with sidewalk art.

 Uncle Chris and his attempt to start a fire with a magnifying glass.  It actually worked and Carson (the eager cub scout and pyromaniac) was attempting it himself the rest of the weekend.

Brynn and Paige watching a movie and dancing in the trailer.

Miles and Finley both smiling at the same time! 

Trev stuck in our set of youth golf clubs that have been collecting dust for 5 years since he bought them at a garage sale.   Here is Addy in a fairly decent golfing stance. 

Saturday afternoon we headed to the beach area.  Again, not your lay-in-the-sand kind of beach, but the kids had fun.  Especially Ry who really was taken with Uncle Chris (which sounded like "Apple Crisp" every time he said his name).  He was good to play with Ry in the water because Trev's new surgery incisions wouldn't fair so well in the salt water.
(Did I ever mention he had surgery on his meniscus the week prior??)

 And I never get to take pictures in ideal lighting. Let's face it...the photo-ops just always seem to happen when the sun is directly overhead or late at night.  There is no planning the best photography light into a family schedule.  But since we hit the beach area so late in the afternoon, the light was golden the last 30 minutes before we headed back for dinner.  Loved it.  Love these next few shots of the kids on the beach.

Ry & Brynn

And just to document that Reese and I were there too.

Thanks Reese and Chris for great company, good food, and a fantastic end to the summer.  The trailer is already winterized and in storage.  It's been a great summer, but I think I am ready for a routine. Things are a little out of whack around here. And by out of whack, I mean attitudes and housework.  Time to catch up and reel in the behavior!!  Oh, and potty train that almost 3 year old. 

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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

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