Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sesame Street 2nd Birthday Party

Of the six birthday parties I have thrown thus far, this is the first character one I have done! I saw some super cute ideas that some other ladies online were doing and who doesn't love Sesame Street? Plus, 'Melmo' is one of the few words that Baby Boy has right now so I thought we may as well go with it. Our Little Helper and I have been planning this since mid summer when we were shopping for things for his Blue Dragon birthday party. I must admit it certainly is much easier to shop and plan for a party when there are so many character items available and other people's party ideas to steal!

 This may be the only occasion in which I don't hate the ceiling in the dining room! I had Mr. W buy a couple dozen balloons in primary colors, it isn't nearly enough to fill the ceiling, but there were enough for little boys to grab and run around with.  I used some green crinkle fabric that OLH picked out this summer as a table cloth for the main table.  I like not using a disposable cloth and I have a feeling I can make some nice costume or cape out of this fabric in the future.
 This cute Sesame Street embroidery was done by my mom's cousin when my little sister was born. This hung in our bedroom as children, my mom let me borrow it for the party. I propped it up on an inexpensive easel I bought at Freddy's.  The small stuffed Cookie monster I bought at Target.
 My mom made chocolate chip cookies and I made sugar cookies with green sprinkles. I bought a letter F cookie cutter at The Decorette Shop as well as a set of number cutters so I'd have a number 2.
 #2 cheese and crackers, since this birthday party was brought to us by the number 2 and the letter F.
 Online I saw so many cute fruit plates arranged like Elmo in strawberries, or Grover in blue berries, but since no fruits are really in season in December I opted for a broccoli Oscar. The eyes are ramekins filled with ranch dressing with olives for the pupils. I used a few carrots for the mouth and eyebrows. Baby Boy likes nuts so I served sunflower seeds in small paper cups.
Ernie's Rubber Ducky punch. I found this idea here and was completely smitten.  How completely adorable is this?! I actually had a really hard time locating the blue drink mix. Not surprisingly, the powdered drink section is very, very limited at the grocery stores in close-in, hippie, SE Portlandia. I had to ask for help from friends via FB!  That ended up working because one of my friends suggested Grocery Outlet; who knew I'd have to cross county lines to get powdered drink mix?   But they had a huge selection with two blue options. I bought an extra packet for future use! I'm so happy with how cute it turned out.
 Baby Boy was enchanted with it as well.
I found Elmo and Cookie Monster t-shirts randomly at department stores. I never found any in OLH's size, not even online did I have much luck.  I keep practically everything, one just never knows when one can use something again. I happen to be wearing a Honker's t-shirt that Ms. Mc bought for me our freshman year of college, back when there were Sesame Street stores at the mall.  Hello! talk about holding onto the past, what crazy person would keep something in a box of archive clothing for so long? Me. And it was just the perfect thing to have for the birthday party.

We also had a big bowl of gummy worms. I used the tutorial from this blog to make the street sign labels.  (Coincidentally I remember this woman from my long ago days on the decorating and renovating board on thenest.) Mr. W found some old Sesame Street and Electric Co. postcards in his baby album and used them for decorations.
 A fish bowl of goldfish crackers. The SS confetti, paper plates and napkins, whistles for the favor bags, and award medal necklaces I bought at a party supply store. We got a few pizzas as the main course since Elmo's favorite food is pizza.  That stuffed Elmo was a gift for OLH when he was younger.
 Speaking of party favors, these SS stickers were the first thing that OLH suggested doing a SS theme party for his brother. I bought enough so I could use them on the favor bags and include a sheet of stickers in each bag. The primary colored bags I got at JoAnn's.
 Inside each is a whistle, sticker or activity book, tooth brush, and sheet of stickers.  I was serving so many sweets at the party I didn't want to add any more to the bag.

I bought some SS coloring books and had those out on the tables with a few boxes of crayons for the children to color while guests were arriving. You know how Elmo loves his crayons! I made up an Elmo head out of red poster board for a game of Pin The Nose On Elmo. The kids were a little shy this early on in the party, so we didn't have as many players as I anticipated. I had lots of left over noses.
 What all the little boys did get into was Oscar's Trash Toss. I had a few small trash cans I used for my old potting shed, that were still empty post move, and heaven knows I have a ton of crinkled newspaper from moving boxes, so this was a super simple and free game to put together. Plus little boys love to throw things, an invitation to throw things in the house is not to be passed up! Here all the big brothers are lined up while the little brothers toss. One of our friends needs to have a daughter, for real, this all boy guest list was not intentional.
 I loved the idea of the game of tossing beanbags made like chocolate chip cookies into a box cut out like Cookie Monster's face would be so cute. I considered making the bean bags, but never got around to it. Plus one tossing game at  a party is probably enough. They had lots of fun playing trains up in the attic too.

After they ate and played and we opened a few gifts it was time for cupcakes. While searching for dragon cake making supplies earlier in the year, OLH and I found these cute SS cupcake picks. I really liked that they had Zoe; the girl monsters seem so under represented in the merchandising! I considered sprinkles, but then found these primary colored 'jumbo round quins' which I thought would be simple, but very cheery. Oh, how I love the Decorette Shop!  I got the #2 candle  for the birthday boy there as well.

Baby Boy knew exactly what to do when he saw that lit candle. We had it placed too far away from him in the beginning to be able to blow it out. As a result we have an endless number of photos with puffy cheeks. So cute!
I had such a fun time putting this party together; having OLH get excited about the planning makes it even more enjoyable for me. He's my little party planner who likes everything to look very 'perfect' or 'awesome.'  I think Baby Boy had a very nice time playing with his friends, and he certainly enjoyed opening his presents and getting a yellow bus, one of his favorite things these days.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

St. Andrew's Day

We were a day late in our celebration. My morning sickness/ all day feeling yuckiness led me to be quite unmotivated to making a Shepard's pie and I allowed My Little Helper to talk me into pizza. On Saturday I was able to enlist Mr. W in the preparations of dinner. We used this recipe as a guide, but also used the left over gravy from Thanksgiving too. Mr. W also decided that the pies should be garnished with shredded cheddar cheese too. Yum!
Since St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland I used a few Scottish themed things for our table. This was challenging though because I haven't unpacked most of our dishes since there is no where to put them. I also used a square of the Gunn tartan fabric for the centerpiece.  I have also been collecting a few tartanware items like this napkin ring.

We talked about how St. Andrew was a brother of St. Peter and one of Jesus's disciples. That was about as much education I could provide for the attention span of a five year old.
I had some shortbread cookies on hand for dessert.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

1st ultrasound

There's one sack and one baby! I was a teensy bit worried there might be two since I had 2 mature follies and my betas were so much higher this time than with Baby Boy. I think I am also a teensy bit disappointed that there is only one since MR. W says this will be ourt last pregnancy. It just seems so final.
I'm 6w4d and we got to see and hear the heart beat. Such a relief! My RE said my chance of m/c is now down to 8%. I have a follow up u/s at 9 wks and he said if all looks good then my m/c chance goes down to 2%. Then I get released to my OB.
So for today, hooray for 92% chance of a baby! :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Martinmas Lantern Walk

I had bought sausages to make a Martinmas dinner, but Mr. W didn't realize that and had made ingredients for a bean soup wanting to make something nice and healthy for his pregnant wife. How sweet! So I saved the sausages for Monday night's dinner. The soup was very tasty, but I'm not one to turn down beans, or soup.
 It was pretty rainy tonight, so we layered the boys up in rain coats and galoshes and gave them each a flashlight, and headed out for our walk. I had considered walking to visit my friend who was our Realtor and is a neighbor, but Mr. W felt it was too rainy to walk that far so we contented ourselves with a 4 block round trip walk to the elementary school and back. 

St. Theodore of Amasea Day

Celebrating St. Theodore's Day is a bit of a challenge. There are a couple different days attributed to him, so I never remember to pick one. Also, there just isn't much information about him. He is woefully underrepresented in books on saints which is somewhat of an issue for My Little Helper. I have been able to learn a few things for example his attribute is the crocodile, similar to St. George, the crocodile represents the devil. There is a statue atop a column in San Marco Piazza in Venezia depicting St. Theodore and the crocodile.
My Little Helper has been asking to have a dragon tea party for some friends, and since I haven't gotten around to putting that together, I thought a nice compromise might be a St. Theodore tea party. Simple after school snacks and some crocodile cookies should work.
I called a half a dozen bakeries, but none of them made crocodile shaped cookies, so I went to my old standby, The Decorette Shop, and picked up a crocodile cookie cutter.  I had green sanding sugar and added some green food coloring to the cookie dough. They turned out pretty cute, although this stupid old stove burns everything. (Can't wait to get that replaced with in the month!)

We set up the tea table in the play room. The boys were allowed to have a candle for decoration.
They had string cheese and ham roll ups (with fancy toothpicks) apple slices with peanut butter, ritz crackers, and carrots with ranch dip. It was way too much food; the boys devoured the entire plate of cookies and were too excited to eat much else. They had the option of hot chocolate or hot apple cider.
Boys love tea parties!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

All Saints and All Souls Days

Our Little Helper went to his first school Mass on All Saint's Day. It sounds like the PreKers did really well, they got to sit with their Buddies, students from and upper grade, and the 3rd graders get to dress as their favorite saint as part of the Mass.  I wish I had been able to attend this year, nap times make so many things a challenge!
After school we headed straight to Ms. Mc's Hallowe'en tea party. But before bed we read about some of our favorite saints from Catholic Book of Saints as well as Room on The Broom as he's still in the spirit of Hallowe'en.
 After school on All Soul's Day we made our pilgrimage to the cemeteries to remember our faithful departed. This year there was no tipping of head stones and both boys were very helpful.

Baby Boy was much more interested in playing with the hose bib

At the second cemetery he was more interested in helping his big brother fill the container with water and flowers.

 Look at how sweet they are posing for me! I rarely get a good shot of both looking at me AND smiling.
Right after this I said a prayer for my grandmother and started crying, which took me by surprise. It has been eleven years, and I still miss her so much. Fortunately the boys had already begun to wander off to stomp in mud pits so MLH wasn't worried about why I was sad.
 Once we returned home I made the pumpkin soup that I wanted to make on Hallowe'en. This recipe is so good! We also had some smoke gouda and bread. Mr. W had wine.
 Enjoying his bread and soup.
 This one isn't interested in soup yet.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hallowe'en Tea Party

My friend Ms Mc's favorite holiday is Hallowe'en and she often has a party. This year's version was a tea party theme. She planned to have it Tuesday, but was sick and postponed to Thursday. It was worth the wait; I think she did such a terrific job. Look at how pretty she set her table!

Her mother was in town for the holiday to celebrate as well. They made these cute cupcakes inspired by a magazine.
 She bought several new teapots on ebay for the occasion.  The little black creamer she bought on our shopping expedition to Camas is on the far left. It has an iridescent orange interior. I think this teapot she found is just perfect. It isn't the same manufacturer or pattern, but look at how perfectly the handles match and they both have an iridescent finish. She bought the set of six canival glass tea cups and saucers on the same trip.
 Peanut butter and jam sandwiches cut out like pumpkins and bats.
 I thought this was so clever, ham and cheese sandwiches cut out like skulls with sliced olives for eyes.
 Her mom couldn't resist buying these orange and brown store bought cookies. They were very tasty.
 MLH and N eager to start the tea party. My boys were dressed as knights since their other costumes were wet and dirty from the night before. The B Boys were lil' vampires.
 N loved the candies.
Another cute tea pot. Baby Boy really loved those dried mixed fruits.
Our tea party boys.
 Baby Boy enjoying a cup of water, all the other boys had hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tricks and treats

 Our Little Helper's school does a Hallowe'en  parade, which is a big deal I hear. Each class marches around to show off their costumes.  This year it was in the school cafeteria, with all the parents who are able to attend sitting in the bleachers. Afterward the students head back to their classrooms for a party of games and healthy snacks.  All the children looked so cute int heir costumes.
I had planned to make pumpkin soup for dinner, but we had a bnap snafu so I ended up ordering a pizza and then ended up having to go drive to pick it up after Mr. W came home. And then it was finally time to go trick or treating. Baby Boy is wearing the cow costume and OLH was a dragon (no surprise there.)
 Baby Boy got into his brother's candy early, he's too darn resourceful.  So sticky!

 We thought we'd have a chance to get out and do a little early trick or treating as a family before we started to receive our own ToTers. Baby Boy quickly caught on to the concept of knocking on doors to get stuff. OLH was hesitant to say "trick or treat" or "thank you" very loudly.
 But he was all about ringing bells and knocking on doors. He was also very polite about only taking as much candy as was offered to him and helping his brother get his pieces.  (I love that they each have a Longaberger basket as does the front door.)
 I went along to a few houses and then went home to hand out candy. We surprisingly only had 6 groups of ToTers all night. Apparently the big draw is a couple blocks away. Then Mr. W brought Baby Boy home for bedtime and I went back out with OLH. He certainly enjoyed the evening. I just love talking to him, he brings me so much joy.
As he and I headed back to our house for bedtime, I could hear a group of ToTers behind us going on and on about how pretty our house was. They weren't far behind us when we went inside. I could hear the little girl asking Mr. W how many children we had. He was oblivious to her question and gave her an answer about how she could take two pieces of candy. I began to feel guilty, like maybe she thinks this house is so big that surely we should have more than just the one son she saw our ToTing. I wanted to say, "No we have 3 children!" to assuage my guilt for having such a formidable looking house.
So after we put OLH to bed I asked Mr. W what he thought about me testing that night rather than waiting until the morning. With the children in bed, technically Hallowe'en was over so if I had a negative, I would spoil the day. If I tested at night instead of waiting til the morning I would probably guarantee myself a better night's sleep, rather than waking up prematurely multiple times through out the night. Mr. W was agreeable since he had to get up early the next day for an early meeting.
Back upstairs I went to POAS. Before I had time to finish washing my hands and walk back down stairs to see the results with him, up popped "Pregnant" on the test. Happy surprise! I rushed down the stairs to shove the pee stick in Mr. W's face. His reaction of "What?!" was a little underwhelming. Especially when he repeated, "What?!" But I think we are both thrilled, but shocked.  This is such a relief! We both decided we needed a few pictures to memorialize this moment, our final pregnancy.
 Did I mention I was still dressed in costume? This word is thrilling. I kept looking at the stick for the rest of the night.
So I guess this means we won't be making it to the wedding in Spain next summer as we'll be due in July. I'm disappointed to miss it, but the rewards are far greater.