Posts Tagged ‘friends’

The Big E 2017

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Previously: The Big E 2010, The Big E 2011

The Big E is what they call the Eastern States Exposition up in Springfield, MA. It’s like the state fair for all of New England – there are buildings for Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Each state has at least one “thing” that is very very popular. Some of them are obvious (Vermont has lots of maple things) and some are less obvious (Maine baked potatoes are a BIG DEAL and I don’t understand). This year Connecticut had lots of craft beer and wine, so obviously we picked the right New England state.

This is the second time we went to The Big E with these particular friends and I could not have done it without them. Two extra adults means we can actually have fun instead of having one long, sustained meltdown that snowballs from Lincoln to all the kids to me crying next to the fried cannoli stand because I can’t take it anymore. But that did not happen! We had fun! And I only lost Lincoln once!

(I did in fact lose Lincoln, but Lincoln was never lost. He just decided to go back to where everyone else was waiting while I stood in the Maine building freaking out. At least I know his sense of direction is really good?)

I did not take many photos (by my standards) because 4 kids is still a lot of kids even when I have help. But I did better than our visit in 2014, which I never got up on the blog at all! I don’t have a single picture of Finnegan, because he was either chilling in his stroller or on me the whole day.

Fake eating fake lamb pops in the “you should eat more lamb it’s delicious” booth located next to the adorable lambs.

A very nice 11-year-old girl named Clara let us pet her sheep. She won a bunch of ribbons. I can barely keep a houseplant alive.

This is a singing refrigerator.

No one wanted to eat here.

Evan recently learned what a “photo bomb” is.

Baby lobsters at the Maine building.

Lincoln loves rides.

And that’s the end of fair season! Next up: FALL FUN SEASON. Time for corn mazes, pumpkin patches and cider mills.

 

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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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My Week(349) in iPhone Photos

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

They put sheet rock up in my kitchen today, so I’m feeling slightly better than I was yesterday. I’m starting to think someday they might actually finish.

Sunday:

Fat baby loves swinging

These were delicious

It actually looks WORSE now

Monday:

I hope he never stops taking couch naps

Salt marsh sunset

Tuesday:

Family walks

The baby who eats anything

Lumos

Wednesday:

Snugglesssss

Private beach

Happy baby

Thursday:

Such Pinterest-worthy decor in this nursery

Sparkles

She doubts her daddy’s cooking skills

Friday:

At least the shower is done

Saw this on a chair at Seaport Camp. Pleased we picked a good camp.

Tasted even better than it looked

Saturday:

My favorite cat

Caroline loves fireworks

Finn does not love fireworks

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My Week(344) in iPhone Photos

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Current mood: I’m not at Disney World so I don’t care about anything. This week is cold and stupid.

Sunday:

Cousins checking out the back yard

Cupcakes + lake = perfect

Sand is delicious too I guess

Monday:

This dog thinks it’s a cat

Caroline is going to be the card player in the family

Tuesday:

Baby on my back

Is it a door? Maybe it was?

We walked here. You can see Mohegan Sun casino on the right down the river. We live really close.

Wednesday:

New hair cut

New goggles

I think Evan might be a vampire?

Thursday:

Private lake morning

Family fun night

Good job Linc

Friday:

I feel the same about laundry Linc

Love youuuuuuu Cosmic Kids

Saturday:

Back at the salon

Purple hairs for Disney!

Evening playdate for the kids

Seriously, guys, it was FIFTY DEGREES yesterday. It’s June. I can’t handle this. I realize pretty soon it will be 95 and I’ll be wishing it was cooler again, but never do I want it to be 50 degrees in June. Next week when I’m in Florida and sweating my butt off I won’t even be mad.

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My Week(342) in iPhone Photos

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

We have a lot of stuff going on over the next few weeks, which is good, because counting down to our Disney trip is making time pass SO SLOWLY. I’m terrible at secrets and I’m pretty sure I’m going to accidentally tell the kids sooner than I meant to. I’m still trying to plan how and when exactly we’ll surprise them, but because we had some unexpected reactions to rides at the amusement park on Sunday (Evan hated all the roller coasters and had to be coaxed onto even small rides) I think a few days of watching Disney vacation videos and YouTube ride-throughs will be a good idea.

Sunday:

Happy Mother’s Day to me!

Family Target trip

I’m so well loved

Monday:

Re-entry into real life is hard

Real life is hard for toddlers too

A good summer sunset

Tuesday:

Front porch life

Brother friends at the library

Evening walk

Wednesday:

Can’t keep a kid out of a fountain

Downtown New London is pretty

No biggie, my sister’s wedding is just in a magazine

  Thursday:

Monster attack

Robot vacuum tried to eat the baby

Cosmic Kids Yoga is their new favorite way to end the day

Friday:

Aquarium date with some penguins

Friday night we had the aquarium all to ourselves

Eating french fries in a beer garden

Saturday:

We’re working on moving him to the crib with mixed results

Linc and I invented carrot cheesecake bars and they were delicious

We always play guys vs girls and for the FIRST TIME EVER the girls won both times

Linc has been napping for THREE HOURS and I’m almost caught up on Call the Midwife so even though I slept sitting up in a chair all night today is pretty good. Plus I have a whole fridge full of meal delivery dinners so I don’t have to stress about what I’m making tonight. Now if only the baby will let me eat something without holding him I’ll be a happy person.

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