Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Our Whole Summer Is Like This

Monday, June 25th, 2018

On the first day of summer vacation, we went strawberry picking, spent the rest of the day at the lake, and then hung out at a local town carnival until bedtime. We ran into a photographer friend I know at the farm, saw almost our entire Momfest group at the lake, and then bumped into one of our favorite Navy families at the carnival.

Maybe when my kids are older we’ll have super relaxed, unscheduled summers. But right now I need them to stay busy and tired, so they can’t complain about being bored or try to kill each other. Today is the fourth day of summer vacation. We dropped E off at the airport, went to a playground, walked a couple miles around a park, caught a ton of Pokemon, took Evan to a coding class, spent 2 hours at the library, ran some errands, went to karate and it’s still not bedtime. I love summer. The weather right now is fantastic. But if the kids ask for one more snack I’m going to sell them.

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

America is the land of the free because of the brave, who we honor on Memorial Day each year. I selfishly hope it’s always a holiday I think of in the abstract and enjoy as the unofficial start of summer, rather than a day with personal meaning. So many families aren’t that lucky. I’ve never been a very good military spouse – I’m not good at volunteering for things, I’m never on committees, I rarely attend meetings, I don’t sign up for meal trains, I forget about bake sales and I’m so bad at military ranks, rates and jobs I’m still not 100% sure what my own husband does. All I know is he’s good at it and he’s gone a lot. I just need him to come back every time.

We had a great weekend that kept us very busy. The big kids had a birthday party, Caroline had a ballet recital, everyone over the age of 4 got to see the new Avengers movie plus we went to the parade and the lake. We also went to the downtown carnival, where I spent way too much money on a few rides and cheap prizes, but the kids ran into several friends and had a great time. The house is a DISASTER and we don’t have a single dry towel, but I’m so happy I can finally use summer as an excuse for my poor housekeeping.

My Week(359) in iPhone Photos

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

I think a month is the longest I’ve ever abandoned this blog since I started it 9ish years ago. I didn’t do it on purpose. I actually wrote a bunch of things that totally would have been blog posts in 2009 but ended up as Facebook posts because it’s 2017. We’re not even close to halfway through with this deployment and although we’ve found rhythm and a schedule that works, it’s exhausting being the only adult in charge of 4 small humans. Even when they have playdates or activities – and I am SO grateful for everyone who has helped – I play chauffer and social planner.

But it would be unfair to quit trying to document everything now, when I know E is looking forward to catching up on everything he missed as soon as he can. So onward and upward, once again.

Sunday:

All three, living their best lives

Mystic Seaport is our happy place

My eight year old beat me at bumper bowling

Monday:

We made slime every day for a week, then I got tired of scraping it off the floor

When both kids are awake and insist of being held at the bus stop

The CUTEST little soaps from The Rubber Ducky Soap Co

Tuesday:

Checking out the candy deals

Pretending he’s a big kid

Watching sissy do cheer

Wednesday:

I WON THE BUS WAR THEY MOVED IT HALF AN HOUR EARLIER

Trashing the car while waiting for Caroline outside ballet

Thursday:

I have a peach vampire in the house

OK, bye, just go be a big kid

Trampoline heaven

Friday:

The first of many, many vet appointments

HAPPY to go to school! YAY!

We put all those rocks in the kindness garden

Saturday:

Who can resist a selfie with a cow?

My little lambs

Another year at The Big E with 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.

 

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!

 

 

 

Get Adobe Flash player