Wednesday, May 30, 2012

{Miles' Very Hungry Caterpillar First Birthday Party}


I knew I wanted to plan Miles' 1st birthday around the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle.  He has loved that book ever since receiving it for Christmas.  How in the world we went through 3 kids before that without owning this book, I do not know.  It is perfectly simple.  Miles will gasp and point and ooh and ahh over it every time. 

I found out it is not a very unique party theme.  Pinterest provided some amazing party inspiration.  Since I started planning a couple months in advance, I had time to do some of the crafty items I normally would pass over.  I actually like pulling all the details together, but I cannot do it in one week or even two, so time and checklists help balance the chaos and party prep.   


My favorite decoration had to be the paper lantern mobile.  So easy:  paper eyes and antennae just hot glued on the head and then hung with fishing line.

I also bought coordinating red and green fabric for the table.  I think the red runner will do double duty around Valentine's Day.  And the green tablecloth is pretty versatile too.  I also made some felt caterpillars that I intended to hang from the chandelier, but it didn't quite work, so I just laid them on the table. 

 One of the party favors included these tins of  "caterpillar food" (aka candy runts). 

I used my favorite felt garland again. It makes me so happy, I left it up for 2 weeks. 

The food for the party was pretty simple.  Miles favorite: PP&J along with all the fruit from the book (minus plums...I could not find them anywhere!). 

Addy, my little 7 year old reader, loved all the tags that went along with the story (and they were easy to make too).

I went super easy on the cake.  I did not make that fondant topper, but isn't it so cute?!  My good friend was having a facebook giveaway for her company Banner Events, and I won a merchandise credit to Edible Details just in time to place an order for Miles' birthday.  I never win anything so I was so excited! The owner of Edible Details is Brittany, and she is so talented.  I loved her design and everything shipped and arrived in excellent condition.  I made the 6 inch, 4-layer cake and just stuck it right on top.  It was perfect and easy!

She also designed these cupcake toppers for me that went right along with the story and were such a hit with the bigger kids. And made dessert easy as frosting cupcakes. 

And here is the birthday boy! 


He was able to celebrate with some of his favorite cousins.  I was so thrilled to have my SIL drive up from Vancouver for the weekend and my sister drive down from North Bend for the party.  Love you guys! He sure loves and knows his cousins!

First up, eating lunch. 

Followed by a couple crafts.  First: coffee filter butterflies (remember the caterpillar turns into a butterfly at the end of the book?).  You color flattened coffee filters with washable markers and then lightly spray with water so the colors bleed.  Leave out to dry (only takes a few minutes) and then wrap a black pipe cleaner around body and use to create antennae. 


And the second craft: fingerpaint bookmarks.  Just white cardstock, red ribbon, and a little paint. 

We played a memory game and opened presents and then finished up with the cake!

Miles couldn't keeps his hands off the frosting while we were singing and then as I was snapping pictures he threw out his arm and grabbed the flame and put it out.  Oh man, not getting mom of the year award for that.  He cried for a couple minutes until he realized he wasn't really hurt (the frosting on his fingers must have provided a barrier to the heat!) and he began to demolish the chocolate cake.



 There are 4 babies within 6 months of age on my side of the family.  He's the caboose in the group and happy to join the 1 year old club with Finley and Jett (we missed you Claire!). 


After a much needed nap, he went back for round 2 on the cake.  (You can't have too many pictures of your one year old eating cake, right?)

I love a good birthday party and this one was so fun! 

Happy First Birthday Miles!!


{Sharing the fun at Bird's Party and Lil Luna}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

{My little guy is 1}

I don't think you ever grow and change as much as you do from birth to age 1. 

It is simply incredible that you go from this:

  
to this:
In one year's time.

Happy Birthday Miles!
I absolutely love age 1.  He's still my sweet, napping, babbling baby you can give a thousand kisses to a day.  And yet so full of personality.  Learning something new each day.  We all dote on him and adore him.  We love talking to him in our best baby talk as soon as he comes into the room or wakes up from a nap.  We love having a baby in the house! 
I re-watched the birth video I created back here.  And I'm in awe at how we have been blessed.  Our sweet little Miles is still such a miracle to me.  A healthy, happy, miracle. 
I never wished the newborn stage away.  Even through the sleepless nights and colic and acid reflux struggles.  It's such a precious time that seems to go by in an instant when you look back a year later.  I find myself staring at him in his crib, snuggling him closer, hanging onto nursing in the mornings while he's tucked into bed with us, and breathing in his baby smell.  I'm trying to stall the inevitable of him growing up into a toddler.  So for now, I am trying to soak in every ounce of baby left in him.   


1 Year Old Stats



Weight: 21 pounds 11 ounces (25%)

Height: 30.25 inches (60%)
Head: 18 inches (25%)

What I love about him right now:
  1. He is such a talker! He babbles non-stop.  I love his consonant blends and general baby talk that feels almost like whole sentences of non-sense. 
  2. His favorite word "uh-oh" gets spoken 3 dozen times a day.  Along with "da-da" (still no ma-ma) and "s'that"...which is his version of "what's that?" He says this all the time as we read stories, play with toys, or when he notices a new object like a ceiling fan or light.  He is so curious and excited about the simplest things.
  3. He loves to point.  His little finger is about the cutest thing ever.  And he loves to clap and play patty cake too. 
  4. He is SUCH a good sleeper.  He will still take 3+ hour nap and naps at least 2 times a day.  Goes to bed at 9pm and will sleep until 9am (with an early morning (6am-ish) time to nurse). He goes down without a fuss.  Loves his bed and snuggles his face into his favorite blankie. 
  5. He is a binkie boy.  So glad he takes it so well because it comes in handy when he gets loud. 
  6. He loves being outside. Our outside doors have a 'beep beep' when they open and Miles will dart for the door in hopes to escape if he hears someone coming or going. 
  7. He loves little cars and trucks and will push them around the floor and is enjoying really playing with them now.  
  8. He loves and knows all of us.  He especially loves Mom, Dad, and Carson.
  9. He eats like a champ. Loves new foods and pounds more at meals than Rylan.  He eats an entire PPJ for lunch (crust included) plus fruit plus crackers plus milk.  The kid loves to eat.
  10. He loves bath time...whether it is a shower or tub...he loves the water and is pretty hyper and excited about it!
  11. He grew out of acid reflux around 11 months. It almost stopped overnight.  At his 9 month check up I was pulling my hair out with spit up all over the place.  And now, totally gone.  So grateful.
  12. He took his first steps a few days after his birthday!  But he still prefers crawling. He is so fast!  He bear crawls on all fours keeping his knees off of our mostly-tile floors in the downstairs.  It's crazy to watch, but he has totally adapted to his surroundings. 
He makes me a little crazy:
  1. Trying to change his diaper or clothes. He puts up the biggest fight anytime he needs a diaper change or to get clothes on and off.  I'm not a stranger to diaper changes, but Miles make it impossible for even a pro like me.  Often times I need one of the kids or Trevor to hold his arms or body in place because he will squirm with all this strength to resist holding still.
  2. With his annoying scream.  It's the "I want something" scream.  It's rather ear piercing.  Not sure what to do about that.  We are working on some sign language and he understands and will sign "more" and "Please", but he still screams too.
  3. Climbing the stairs.  He refuses to learn how to go down, so I am constantly worried about a tumble. 
We love this little guy to pieces.  And are still so much enjoying the baby stage that comes with him even though it means sacrifices here and there with schedules and activities.  It's so worth it. 




His 1 year old 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' party coming up next! 





Sunday, May 13, 2012

{Spring Fair}

Carson had the unfortunate lucky opportunity to participate in the district science fair.  He was one of 15 winners from his school to move onto the district level.  It is one of those things that you almost wish they wouldn't win....because it was a 2 day commitment over the weekend.  Not to mention the prep time involved in preparing his presentation to the judges (working on maintaining eye contact, not using the word "um", actually know his experiment backwards and forwards, etc.).  He was stoked about it, so we all put on a happy-congratulations-you are awesome face! 



The judging happened to be on a weekend when Trevor was busy with the Scouts at church, so I had to actually hire a babysitter for the other 3 kids so I could head down to the Puyallup fair grounds for the district science fair. He had to be there for 3 hours sitting in front of his display.  He became great friends with the neighboring kids and really enjoyed it.  He got an honorable mention award the next day.  Super proud of him!  He did great.




The district science fair is on the Puyallup fair grounds and is during the Spring fair.  The big state fair is in the fall, but they open the grounds in the Spring for a few days.  It is less crowded in the spring and parking is free.  I've never been a big fan of the Puyallup fair (I know...gasp!  people from around here have been going since they were kids, but it just seems over priced, dingy, with incredibly poor customer service...I swear some of the ride operators were actually on something!)  The kids begged to go.  And since Carson I got in for free and Trevor finished up with the Scouts early, we rounded up a few extra discount tickets and headed to the money-suck fair grounds on a sunny Saturday. 



When you compare it to Disneyland, you are in for a big let down.  But the kids don't seem to notice that they didn't quite fit in with most of the fair goers who don't see a need for basic clothing, have large and in charge tattoos, dislike bras, and will spend their life savings to win a life size stuffed bear...but hey, we actually had a good time. (Ok, so it is not THAT bad, but close). 



We split up, and I took the bigger kids and Trevor took the little boys to conquer a few rides.
 






And then we visited the animal exhibits which I would have liked to spend more time at, but the kids were getting tired and ornery by then.  But it was hard to pull Rylan away from this donkey. He loves animals and has no fear. 




And of course fair food is fantastic. I got my fav, a caramel apple.  Ry loved his ice cream cone and became a complete sticky disaster. 

And the 'Slushie Station' was a hit as was the fresh cotton candy.  Yum!

All in all, fun day.  We love the sun in the spring time, so it was the perfect year to hit the fair.   
But, I figure we are good for a few years now. 


Monday, May 07, 2012

{Pinewood Derby 2012}

Carson's last year for pinewood derby.  Really?  3 short years in cub scouts is coming to an end extremely fast. 
Trev and Carson rocked it out.  Our neighbor has an incredible wood shop in his basement, and he was so sweet to let them borrow and use whatever they needed.  Trevor spent some long hours perfecting the car (with a a little help from a mostly uninterested Carson).  I was in charge of helping him paint.  But after a total spray paint debacle,  we sanded it down and started again at 10pm the night before. I sent Carson to bed and pulled out whatever scrapbooking stuff I could still find (I haven't 'scrapbooked' in years) and managed a decent looking car by the wee hours of the morning.  #10 for being 10 years old! 


The boys made these stands the month prior and got to keep them to display their cars in their room. 

Carson spying me with the camera from across the room.

Here are a few of the sisters supporting their brothers. I think they secretly like it more than the cub scouts. 

Line 'em up!


And then, in traditional fashion, we have the worst luck during the Pinewood Derby.  Remember last year how he got mistakenly was left out of the finals bracket?  Well, this year, there was major problems with the track.  I think rain and a wet track had something to do with it, but the seams in the track were not flush causing cars to bounce off of the track. 
Most of the time they would let the boys re-run the race if a car flipped out of the lane.  They did this on several occasions, giving the boys at least 2 chances to have a successful run down the track. Carson won his first heat with no problems on the track, but on the second heat when he was in the 'bad' lane, it bounced out of the lane and finished last.  But on this race they didn't re-run it! He was devastated. My heart just sank, because I knew he had a fast car.  He finished first in the 3rd and final heat, but it wasn't enough with the loss in the second heat to put him in the finals.  And they were not timed races, so nothing could be done. 
He put on his best good sportsmanship face. We all did.  And cheered on the cars as they raced in the finals and crowned a winner.  And then after it was over, they let the boys race their cars for fun.  At this point they ran Carson's car against the winner and second and third place winners. He beat both 2nd and 3rd place and lost by a hair to the winner.  It was a bummer for sure because in the end, he had a second place car, but it was too late. 


Of course we weren't going to make a fuss about how it ended up.  Sometimes things just don't go your way. That's life. But as a mom, I just felt so badly because the same thing happened last year.  And Carson and Trev had worked extra hard this year making a great car.  Trevor and I had the hope that it would boost his sometimes struggling self-esteem.  But it wasn't meant to be, and it was okay. 

There were some tears when we got home, and it just breaks your heart.  But I'm hopeful he'll come out of it stronger and realize there are bigger things to 'win' in life than a Pinewood Derby.  And maybe those kids who won really needed it right now.  We are blessed in many ways and we counted our blessings that night during prayers. 


And then I left this out for him the next morning and got a big smile in return.  I think he is going to be ok. 
And we're all kind of glad we have a break from Pinewood Derby for 5 years until Rylan is a cub scout.  It's definitely something so fun for dads to do with their sons.  They love it, they talk about it, and they always remember it.  I love watching that, but it is a tad stressful too. 

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