Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

Evan: Nine Years Old

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Evan through the years: Birth Day (part 1 and part 2), one, two, three, four, five, six, seven (oops, that one doesn’t exist?), eight

 

Happy birthday to my firstborn, who is somehow nine years old today even though I could have sworn he was born just last week. Now he’s NINE.

For the last nine years I have made an average of 253 mistakes a day, used my angry voice, yelled, threatened, failed to follow through, was incredibly inconsistent, offer the wrong kind of praise, didn’t enforce bedtimes, let him get away with bad behavior, couldn’t figure out how to make him eat most vegetables and pretended I didn’t notice he was playing on his tablet longer than he was supposed to. And yet somehow, Evan is still a wonderful kid. He’s sensitive and deeply empathetic – he cried during both Coco and Guardians of the Gallaxy Vol 2. He can be hesitant to try new things but he isn’t ashamed to be himself. He wants nothing more than to be treated as a responsible, trustworthy child who is allowed to stay home by himself for 30 minutes at a time. He loves small kids and babies and big kids and adults and everyone in between. He still fully believes in Santa, the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny.

There is so much more I am going to do wrong when it comes to raising this child, but let’s hope heaps and heaps of love is enough to balance all those mistakes. This is my first time raising a 9-year-old, it’s pretty scary and wonderful. Happy Birthday Evan!

 

Caroline: 7 Years Old

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

Caroline is Seven!

Her favorite things are: cheer, dance, fashion, drawing, writing, reading, Wonder Woman, cooking, baking, her brothers, her friends, unicorns, glitter, Hamilton and making videos.

She is very, very smart, a wonderful friend, kind to everyone and makes me coffee in the morning. Caroline plans to have a streak of purple added to her hair over winter vacation. She cannot wait until she is old enough to officially babysit.

Happy birthday, my beautiful daughter.

Caroline’s 7th Birthday Celebration

Monday, December 18th, 2017

I asked Caroline what she wanted to do for her birthday this year, since it was just a family celebration and not a party. She said she wanted to get giant milkshakes, like we did for Lincoln’s birthday back in July. Lucky for us, Saturday also happened to be the reindeer visit at Foxwoods and their PR department invited us, so we were going to be headed there this weekend anyway.

Besides the reindeer, they also had a wonderful Santa and tons of Christmas decorations. It was very festive and joyful. My kids were almost well-behaved during our long, backward, sugar-filled lunch. They sang to Caroline and it was the highlight of her month. We learned a lot about reindeer – did you know their antlers fall off every year? Those giant antlers are only a few months old! And when we got home, Finnegan took a 3 hours nap because he was stuffed with french fries and worn out from fun.

We also did presents (all cheerleading-related), made her favorite dinner (spaghetti and meatballs) and had a small grocery store cake for dessert. She told me I am the greatest birthday planner in the world and it was the best day of her life. Considering the effort I put into her elaborate birthdays of the past, I’m just relieved she wasn’t shockingly disappointed. I do think from now on we’ll always have to go to the Sugar Factory for birthdays. Evan already requested it for his day in April.

Tomorrow is her actual birthday and we’ll do our traditional birthday interview. I am guessing every answer will be “cheer” or “unicorns”.

Linc was annoyed we had to wait for 3 whole minutes to see Santa.

Isn’t this the most gorgeous gingerbread house???

We went back to see the reindeer again after lunch.

Children’s Book Themed Birthday Party

Friday, August 25th, 2017

We celebrated Lincoln turning three and Finnegan turning one with a children’s book themed birthday party last weekend. I feel slightly guilty that I made them share a party when the big kids got their own celebrations for each of their first five years. But between the bathroom disaster (ongoing) and E’s work schedule, this was really our only free weekend for a party. I don’t think either of them minded. Honestly, the guest list would be exactly the same for both parties anyway. When you’re the 3rd and 4th kids your friends are the younger siblings of the big kids’ friends.

I didn’t start planning this party until late June, so when I was looking for a theme I needed something that wouldn’t need too many custom-made or hard to find items. I had done a Nursery Rhyme Baby Shower for Caroline and it was pretty easy and totally adorable, so I expanded upon that to include all children’s books. It turns out most children’s books are already about food, so the menu was the easiest part:

Book worms – gummy worms

Green Eggs and Ham – green deviled eggs

Very Hungry Caterpillar – cheese & sausage plate, fruit

The Runaway Bunny – veggies

Dragons Love Tacos – taco bar

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie – chocolate chip cookies

The Giving Tree – apple slices

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – meatballs

Uni the Unicorn – unicorn pops

The Big Hungry Bear – strawberries/berries

Paddington Bear – marmalade sandwiches

Don’t Forget the Bacon – BLT sandwiches

Eloise at the Plaza – tea sandwiches

Where The Wild Things Are – wild thing claws (Bugles)

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great – sparkle cupcakes

Captain Flynn and the Pirate Dinosaurs – pink pirate dinosaur punch

children's book themed birthday party

children's book themed birthday party

I keep all of our dust covers in a box because the kids just ruin them. They came in hand as decor!

children's book themed birthday party

children's book themed birthday party

children's book themed birthday party

children's book themed birthday party

children's book themed birthday party

Taco bar serving trays were super cheap and from Amazon.

Wild things claws = Bugles

When it came to decor, I already had almost everything I needed. A few banners from Oriental Trading Company and a whole lot of photos added to the many, many books. Many of the books I used both as the theme and as actual decor are my books, from my own childhood. Some of the others are favorites from bedtime for Evan and Caroline. We were lucky enough to meet Mo Willems a few years ago (one of my favorite posts of all time!) so most of his books are signed. The whole thing just felt so special and personal, even if it isn’t the most dramatic theme I’ve ever done it was perfect!

Ladybug balls from Amazon.

All our Mo animals – Elphant and Piggie, Pigeon and four Knuffle Bunnies – came from a recent promotion at Kohl’s. I went to two different stores to find them all.

Bookmarks, bubbles and temporary tattoos for party favors.

Please excuse the unpainted spot on the wall, we didn’t quite get our construction finished before the party. At least we had a ceiling!

I made the photo display for Finnegan with a hula hoop, spray paint, ribbon, fake flowers and hot glue. The outside pictures are his monthday photos for the past 11 months and the center photos are from his cake smash session.

We are very lucky to have so many friends who have so many kids, because the kids are really what makes the parties fun. I also love that some of them have been coming for so long now that they get excited ahead of time thinking about cucumber sandwiches!

The cheeseburger pinata was from the party aisle at Target (and the theme is from Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, where cheeseburgers fall from the sky). I’ve had it in my dining room for months now and it always made me smile.

I also bought some of those magic quick-fill water balloons at Target when they went on clearance. They didn’t exactly go with the theme but Lincoln LOVES water balloons. And it was super hot, so the kids enjoyed getting wet and dried off quickly.

 

All four of my kids had book shirts from Out Of Print Clothing. I bought Evan shirts from their site when he was a toddler, which Lincoln still wears and Finn will wear. Evan wore Caps for Sale, Caroline wore Harold and the Purple Crayon, Lincoln got Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus and Finnegan wore Where The Wild Things Are. To be honest, Finnegan already owns like 5 other Wild Things shirts that were hand-me-downs but they’re all long sleeved and it was too hot so I bought him another. You cannot have to many Wild Things themed articles of clothing.

This bounce house I bought Lincoln for his first birthday remains one of my best decisions to date.

My kids are currently obsessed with painting rocks, so I put out supplies and lots of the big kids did rock painting. I sealed them all this week and we hid them at Mystic Seaport for others to find.

After water balloons and bounce house and painting and pinata and lots of eating and running around, we wrangled everyone inside to sing Happy Birthday to Lincoln, because he thinks people singing Happy Birthday is the BEST THING. We sang for Finnegan too, but he just wanted to eat the candle.

children's book themed birthday party

children's book themed birthday party

Thank you as always to my parents, who were pretty much the only reason this party happened. Their help with cleaning and prep is invaluable. And thank you to everyone who came, it’s so wonderful to know that my kids have a village of both actual relatives and by-choice relatives to love them. Lincoln and Finnegan are both sufficiently celebrated!

 

 

 

Lincoln: 3 Years Old

Monday, July 24th, 2017

 

I wasn’t going to do a birthday video for Lincoln because of his speech delay. He’s very hard to understand – even his siblings and I have trouble with his language on a daily basis and we “speak Lincoln”. He also doesn’t have words for a lot of things he might want to say, and I didn’t want him to get frustrated and have a break down because he couldn’t communicate. I didn’t want to make him cry just so I could have a video of him answering questions.

But Linc has made HUGE progress with his speech, thanks to months of Birth to Three services and our amazing therapist Jill. He’s had his hearing checked (perfect), a physical (nothing wrong), and he’s been accepted into the early preschool program this fall so he can continue getting direct speech services as well as work on some of his sensory stuff and be ready for regular preschool when he’s 4. I know that in the next 12 months he’s going to grow and improve SO MUCH and eventually I’m going to miss the days when every new word was a celebration and hearing him say “happy burse day” makes me jump for joy.

So we made the video. I shortened my list of questions a little, he asked to have Evan sit with him, and I did a lot of translating. You probably won’t understand what he’s saying. But turning three is a big deal and milestone that we won’t let a speech delay stop us from documenting.

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