Posts Tagged ‘finnegan’

The Best Weekend of the Year 2017

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Previously: 2016, 2015, 2015 (part 2), 2014,  2013

I can’t remember when I started calling this the best weekend of the year, but now that’s the official name in our family and we celebrate as if it’s a holiday. Four kids out of the house all weekend isn’t easy but we had a great time as usual and the food makes up for the stress.

Greek Food Festival:

Ledyard Fair (with friends!):

Taste of Italy:

Mystic Eats:

After we went to the food festival in Mystic, we hung out at the Seaport, then went straight to a birthday party, then straight to cheer practice. Operation Keep Them Busy is going along just swimmingly, although if Finnegan keeps waking up at 2 am I’m not going to be able to keep it up every weekend.

Hopefully he let’s me get enough sleep to make it to The Big E next Saturday, because that’s like the whole Best Weekend of the Year rolled into one day.

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Brooklyn Fair 2017

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

The very best part of the year in Connecticut has just started. The weather is gorgeous. There are so many fun things to do we can’t possibly do them all. We’re just two weekends away from The Best Weekend Of The Year. We can be out of the house 12 hours a day easily, so when we get home all the children are exhausted and go right to bed.

On the one hand, this is perfect. The United States Navy called in their claim on my husband, and we won’t be seeing him for a while. Operation Keep Them Busy is my only hope to avoid sad, crying children every day. It’s lucky that this drastic family change happened during a time of year full of activity and changes. It’s easier to adjust when you’re already adjusting to new classes, new teachers, new schools, new routines and plenty of fun.

On the other hand, participating in all that fun without a second set of adult hands is taxing mentally and physically. There’s no one to go with the kids on rides the babies can’t ride. There’s no one to watch the stroller while I run to the bathroom. There’s no one to help carry plates at a food festival. There’s no one to wear an exhausted toddler when I’m wearing a nursing baby. There’s no one else to drive when I’m super tired. There’s just no one else. We’re going to miss some of the annual events we “always” go to because my sanity is more important than doing everything.

To kick off the best part of the year, we went to the Brooklyn Fair and it was wildly successful. I basically said yes to everything, including throwing a ton of money at stupid carnival games because my kids love those cheap, gross, horrible, trash stuffed animals so much. We were there for almost 5 hours and I think I only threatened to abandon them once. Maybe twice for Lincoln. But they had a super good time and said I was the best mommy and I got to eat the cotton candy they forgot we bought so it was a good day.

 

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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!

 

 

 

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Thursday, August 17th, 2017

I AM ONLY ONE WEEK BEHIND NOW IT’S A MIRACLE. But now I really really need to stop blogging and do some work on this birthday party I’m throwing on Saturday so I probably won’t really catch up for another 3 weeks.

Sunday:

KNUFFLE BUNNY

Screen zombies. It’s getting old.

Monday:

Big bottle for a little baby

Standard tv watching in our house

Tuesday:

Rose garden sun dial

Maybe it’s time to get him some shoes

Wednesday:

This is Finn’s favorite game

Skeptical I REALLY need all this stuff at the craft store

GET TO WORK, CHILD LABORERS

Thursday:

Toddler for sale, everyday low price

Finding rocks and hiding rocks

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, BABY?

Friday:

Waiting for blood draws is exhausting

More rock painting

My new blanket for the USS Virgina. TIMELY.

Saturday:

Mad Scientist station at Cousin Camp

Custom made pizzas

Borrowing a neighbor’s swimming pool to end our awesome camp day

My parents are here to help with party stuff and I am SO unprepared. This is not going to be my best party. At this point I’m going to be impressed if there’s a cake and no construction actively occurring. Have I mentioned that I am TOTALLY OVER having people in and out of my house and not having a working full bathroom?

I don’t care what breaks in this money next – I’m throwing a tarp over it and ignoring the problem forever. NO MORE HOME IMPROVEMENTS. EVER.

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Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

I AM SO READY TO HAVE CONSTRUCTION PEOPLE OUT OF MY HOUSE FOREVER. I swear to god, the number one advantage in DIY home improvement isn’t cost, it’s the fact that you can stop and use your kitchen to make a sandwich if you want without being in anyone’s way.

Sunday:

Someone made some poor choices

Really tired of gymnastics nursing

Monday:

Still asleep when it’s time to leave for camp

Book Barn adventures

Why do we even own toys?

Tuesday:

I swear I’ve taken this photo every week all summer

Watching for ugly fish

Littlest aquarium fan

Wednesday:

He refused to move until I took his picture

You can see through my walls

Thursday:

Playing in the water

Waiting for the bridge to go up

I took a picture so I could go buy an identical diverter and I still got the wrong one

Friday:

No stop don’t run away

I don’t know what’s behind me

Being an A+ big sister

Saturday:

Seussian shenanigans

Thing 1 and Thing 2

Super cool art and play space

I’m trying to pick a grey paint color again and it’s making me insane. Because why not spend three days agonizing over paint colors when the painting has to be done by Saturday?

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