Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall is Here!

There probably aren't too many more evenings left where we can go outside - barefooted - after dinner and play. Tomorrow is October 1st...and while that means it is going to start getting cold and dark...it also means it is time to start decorating for Halloween! Yippee!!


video

Oh they are so sweet. And so fun. I am SO lucky.

Happy Fall to All!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Charlotte's Vintage Carousel 1st Birthday Party

Bear with me. I was going to do a lot of fancy editing and put together a handful of collages from the pictures from Charlotte's 1st birthday party.  Like this one.


But me and this little thing called perfectionism was slowing me waaayyy down, so I decided to just throw em up on the blog.

Soooo....Charlotte's 1st birthday party had the theme of Vintage Carousel. It was completely inspired by the cake topper you can see in the upper left. I found it while I was pregnant with Charlotte and the instant I saw it, I knew I HAD to have it and that it HAD to be the decor at Charlotte's 1st birthday party. 

Next came the invites (above right). I did do some fancy editing on the invite so that you all couldn't see my contact details but you get the overall gist. I love that the invites have the safari animals like the cake topper.
Let me tell you, most carousels have horses. I know. I've been looking at carousel stuff for the past two months.


I ain't no Amy Atlas. That is for sure. But I sure did have fun planning and putting together this party.
Here are a few pictures from the dessert table.


There's nothing like throwing a party to remind you of all the serving platters, cake stands and linens that you DON'T have. Needless to say, I've got a new hobby. 
Collecting all the platter, cake stand and linens that I might need to use at a hypothetical party in the future.





 This year, I went with buying birthday cakes. We all remember what happened at Grace's 1st birthday party.  Aside from the main cake, the birthday girl got her very own smash cake.


I did make the cupcakes. From scratch. I can't claim responsibility for the darling cake toppers though. They were purchased.


Goody bags are really my thing. A birthday party just isn't a birthday party without a goody bag. So each guest received a little bag filled with goodies - bubbles, candy, tops - I tried to stay in the theme of carousel. Each guest also received a bank with his or her name on it.




A birthday party is not complete, of course, without a birthday girl!
Charlotte made a late entrance because her nap was just too good and too deep. That's ok because when she did get up, she was ready to party!


Not sure if you can see her shirt. It is a pink and purple circus tent with her name on it!
Couldn't find anything cute enough that didn't have carousel horses on it.

video

The tutu was so big and puffy it nearly pulled her over.


The birthday girl was even nice enough to pose for a few pics with Auntie M.



And even birthday girls have to stop for a bu-bu break. Good thing we had lots of extra hands around!


Moving on to the kiddie table.
This is where the kids sat for dinner.








They each got their very own party hat.





I used plastic utensils and plates. It would be nice to be able to use real flatware but we needed a quick clean-up. You know how they say the first birthday is really about the parents?
Well, we took that to heart. 
Charlotte's birthday party was the day before her REAL birthday. Court and I headed to Las Vegas on Charlotte's REAL birthday.
Yes, we realize we are no longer in the running for parents of the year.
And yes, we realize we were out of that running looong ago.




The party hats were a hit and SO stinking cute on all the kids!




Ok so I know you are asking what's that pretty puffy thing in the middle of the table?


So glad you asked! 
The kids all thought they were suckers...they were so sweet and sugary looking.



But they were actually "fairy" wands kept in the theme of the cake topper...naturally!


I wasn't sure if the kids would "get" what they were but it was REALLY cute watching them run around with their wands!



Dinner was a flurry of me and Court getting food prepared, guests and children seated...all while trying to make engaging conversation. We served hot dogs, corn on the cob, caesar and fruit salads (our attempt at theme food).

In the entertainment department, we had a bean bag toss and a fun game we played in the baby pool but it quickly turned to a game of who-can-get-naked-first so I will not be posting any of those pictures.



But the main event was Charlotte's birthday present...a bounce house.



Grace didn't like it. Not. One. Bit.








And now...what you've all been patiently waiting for...

Charlotte vs. The Cake

I'll let the pictures do the talking!




I was able to sneak into one picture...

as was Court.
We were so busy!









She LOVED the cake! Especially the frosting! 
My goodness it was fun to watch her...especially when she licked the frosting off of her fingers.
You've got to check out the video below.

video

Miss Charlotte. 



  










Friday, September 23, 2011

Charlotte's TV Debut

We are preparing for Charlotte's first birthday. Slightly in denial but preparing nonetheless.
It's been a fun, full and whirlwind-quick year.
So to kick off the festivities, we wished Charlotte a happy first birthday on TV of course!

Me videoing the TV...

video

and what it looked like on the broadcast.

Wait for it! They save the best for last! ;)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Grace's School - Part III

The REAL day of school happened today. No Mom on the premises!
So how else would we prepare for this momentous occasion than by throwing an epic sized tantrum over our outfit?
I didn't know a 2 year old could or would care about their clothing choices but I was wrong.
Grace cares. A LOT!
I had heard that if you give a kid a choice, you will pay for it so when it was time to get dressed in the morning, I went to put the outfit I had previously picked out - some capri shorts and a top - and was met with gargantuan screams. She wanted to wear a dress! Of course she did. 
The next bit of friendly parental advice I've received is to give the kid two choices: Option A - the shorts and Option B - a lovely skirt.
Again, met by screams.
I'm telling you, if this is any indication what it is going to be like leading up to prom, I plan on being out of town that day. I'll hand that one off to Dad and his shotgun.

Anyway, we finally settled on a grey cotton dress with pink stripes. Perfect. It would be comfy and because it had matching leggings, it would be warm in the cool mornings and keep her from flashing her Hello Kitty underpants to the world.
Again, screams.
There would be no leggings had by Miss Grace. I even bargained with her. You can wear one white shoe and one black shoe - Grace's signature fashion trademark - if you wear the leggings...
This is a bad picture but you can see who won this fight...


Let's see...no leggings and one white shoe and one black shoe. 
Grace clearly won.
I'm telling you, this starting school thing has done NOTHING but kick my A**!



In other school news, I told Grace that I was leaving and she acted like she didn't care. I took that as a good sign. I pulled a total stalker mom move and found a window where I could see her but she couldn't see me and snapped this picture with my iPhone. The bright, white being is Grace. So far, so good. 
No tears.



So I left. Which felt so strange leaving Grace behind. But me and Charlotte had things to do - music class.
For the last two weeks, Nana brought Charlotte to music class while I got Grace adjusted at school. The reports had been that Charlotte was very active and very social.
I was not prepared for how social and how active little Miss Charlotte was.


First of all, when we walked into the Community Center, the women at the desk stopped what they were doing and said hi to Charlotte! We got to class and all the moms and Grandmas said hi to Charlotte. It was so weird...it was like a little fan club. And Charlotte marched up to each and every person in class - kid, mother or grandmother - stared them in the eyeballs and gave them huge smiles. She spent nearly as much time on the lap of a nearby (unrelated) Grandmother as she did on my own lap. When it was time to "play" the instruments, she banged away on the drum and strummed the guitar.
Not. Shy. At.  All!


She was front and center during story time


and at one point I had to scoop her off the floor because she was doing a backwards-caterpillar-break- dance-type move that was slightly inappropriate on the wood floor. Clearly distracting the students in class! It was really fun watching Charlotte enjoy herself and dance to the music! 

The best part of the day was picking Grace up. Again, I pulled a stalker mom move and spied on her.
No tears. Lots of playing. Looks like this is in the bag!
After pick-up, I talked to the teacher and the parents helping in class and they reported that Grace did in fact cry for a bit but after a while got in the swing of things.
Progress!
When I asked Grace if she had fun at school, she said yes!
When I asked her if she wanted to go back next, she said yes!
And when I asked her if she was going to cry next time, she said yes!!

Next week will be REALLY interesting because Court and I are going out of town for two days without the girls. Those two days happen to fall on a school day! So Nana gets the "lucky" job of dropping Grace off at school.
Stay tuned!