Friday, October 28, 2011

Hysterics at the Doctor

Little L is such a sweet smiley guy now! But I haven't caught a smile in a photo yet, I'll try to do that this week. It's so adorable and makes sleep deprivation so worth it.

 L is our little pumpkin boy this year. Both of the other kids wore this outfit, but he's the only one who filled it out. The other two weren't even a month old in October and he's almost two months now. He's getting bigger every day! People who see him can't believe how much he's grown from the last time they've seen him. Such chunky cheeks and a little double chin!

Thursday the big kids had their yearly well visit at the doctor's office. G had to have two shots, get a flu mist and have his iron checked. He was NOT a happy camper afterward. I knew it wasn't going to go well when he started freaking out about the blood pressure cuff on his arm. He did great with the flu mist, was upset and crying after getting his iron checked and was positively wild when we tried to get his two shots done. I was holding his arms and body down while the nurse held his legs and gave the shots. He screamed! And when it was over he was so mad at me and said (at the top of his lungs) "I'm NEVER coming back here AGAIN!!!" and "I'm never loving you again, or daddy or my teachers or my friends!" L was crying and A was yelling at G to be quiet because she couldn't hear her Leapster game. So that was a tad stressful....

Once we got in the car A regained her senses and tried to calm G down and help him feel better. I decided it was time for us to do something fun instead of taking A back to school. So we headed to the museum so they could play in the Wild Music Exhibit. Hubby met us over there after his meeting and the kids had a blast in the Jamming Room.

Mommas know when their kiddos just need to let off a little steam. Whew, and this momma needed a break too!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Disney Cars Birthday Party under $100

Since we had a 6 week old baby the kids' annual joint birthday party had to be a little less labor intensive this year. We decided on a Cars theme because G loves Cars, the sequal came out a few months ago and we convinced A that she liked Cars a lot too.

Decorations: The Punch Out Pack from Hallmark/Party Express was such a great hit the year before with the Toy Story Birthday party that I found this set online for easy decor. It was a splurge for me at $15, but with the baby I wanted something quick and easy.

 With the little stand up figures and table confetti it made for a really easy party decoration. I got a black tablecloth and some Cars plates, plain red cups and black forks (which later realized we didn't really need but I had fork decorations so there were going to be forks there y'all!).

I put some of the paper 'placemats' up on the wall along with a few generic Happy Birthday Banners we've kept in our birthday box and used each year.

I put some balloons and crepe paper up and the room was good to go.
 Generally you don't have to spend too much to have a themed party. You can just use generic colors for most things and splurge on plates or napkins that go with the theme and it ties it all together.
Cost of decorations:  $28

Games:  Hubby set up an obstacle course race for them to play. I think I'd told him a few weeks before I wanted him to run some games outside and he literally came up with this as they all walked outside.

 Had nothing to do with Cars but they had a blast running through it. Oh wait, now I remember...the Cars in the movie were having a big they were racing too. Ahh, we were sleep deprived but we tied it in somehow! Cost of games-nothing, just borrowed some sports equipment from our church.

Food: After games everyone came inside and we had snacks. Again, food is where a party budget can get out of control so we planned our party for an afternoon so we weren't serving a full meal, just snacks. We had chips and salsa, crackers, fruit, veggies, dips and juice or Gatorade. Whenever I could I tried to use Cars themed snacks like Cars CheezIts or Cars shaped Graham Cracker Cookies to add to the theme. I used the place cards in the decoration pack to make up some labels for the food. Sweet Tea-Motor Oil, Gatorade-Filmore's Fuel, Water-Red's Firehose, Ranch Dressing-Rusteze Bumper Ointment. Didn't get a picture of those things...maybe it was because I was nursing a 6 week old? Cost of the food was about $25

Gifts: Instead of having guests bring the kids a present we asked everyone to bring presents to donate to Operation Christmas Child. At the party the kids were able to pick out items and pack a shoebox to send overseas to a child in need.

Before the party the kids got to open their gifts from Meme and Poppa and Mimi and on their actual birthday they got presents from us and their cousins, so they didn't go without anything to celebrate their birthday. We just think it takes forever to open gifts at a party, it's awkward for the kids, sometimes people purchase stuff for your child that you wouldn't give them and our kids are so spoiled by their family that they don't need any extra gifts and a ton of other reasons why we don't have people bring gifts for our kids. I wish this tradition would catch on everywhere! Parents have told us how appreciative they are that they were invited to the party and that their child got to see kids giving to others instead of receiving. It's a blessing and fun way to serve others. OCC is just really easy for us because the box collection is starting up right around the time of their birthday so it makes sense. You could find a charity that your child is interested in or that goes with the theme of your party. Then all the kids don't have to sit around and watch someone else open presents and inspire jealousy in the watchers.

Cake: I just didn't have the time and energy this year to make a big cake. But I do like things homemade so we went with cupcakes this year. It ended up saving time too because we didn't have to cut the cake and slice it up and serve it. I love doing new cakey things though so I bought some new larger piping tips to decorate them with so it was still fun and they turned out cute.

 Piping the cupcakes didn't take a lot of skill but it looked very professional. I printed out little pictures of all the different Cars cars with girl cars for A's cupcakes and boy cars for G's. Each of them had their own cupcake stand and the boys cupcakes were red and girls were pink (not technically on purpose but when my icing coloring wasn't matching up that was the excuse I used).

Cost for Cupcakes: $12 for two box mixes, icing, cupcake liners, candles and new tips. Plus cost of printing out the circles below and attaching them to some toothpicks I already had in the kitchen.

Here's a printable jpg:

Goodie Bags: Didn't get a great picture of them but they were just clear cellophane bags and I found little stuff to put in that didn't cost a ton. Had gotten a pack of Cars Valentines after Valentine's Day that had a pack of pencils and that was only 54 cents for a pack of 12 or 18. After each holiday I go to Walmart and look through all the kiddie toys and after Christmas I'd found some pens and rings for $2 and after Valentine's Day I found little water color sets and mazes on clearance. I also bought a pack of Cars Bandaids and Cars Fruit snacks and put one each in the bag. And lastly found some Cars Silly Bands on clearance. I generally collect a bag of items through the year that are inexpensive because I don't want to spend a ton on goodie bags. If you know when to shop you can get great stuff for cheap. Of course, you have to remember that you purchased it and where you hid it from your kids. Cost of the goodie bags: $33 for 16 bags or about $2 per child

Total party Cost:

Friday, October 14, 2011

6 Weeks

Well, L is 6 weeks old now and he really has grown! You know, sometimes it's not until you are away from something that you notice it changing, like the grass growing. But he's growing so fast it seems like each time we pick him up he's grown some more! We are calling him our Chunky Monkey.

 In 5 days, he gained a WHOLE POUND! Many moms are happy if their baby gained a half and ounce or so per day and mine has been putting on 3 oz per day! I put him in the swing and it just looked like he really filled it out now instead of being a little peanut in the swing. And his cheeks! So plump and pinchable. And a double chin and leg rolls, so adorable.

Here are two pictures of him, one at 5 days old and the other at 6 weeks old

And this one he is filling out his carseat at 7 weeks.

 And this is how I get laundry done. Fussy baby, have to take him along around the house with me, but need hands to do the laundry...Hmm, where should I put the baby for a second? That looks nice and soft...

Sleep is getting a little more regular. We put him down around 10 or 11 and I get up at 1, 4, and 6:30 to feed him. He is still sleeping in the swing at night. During the day for naps he'll sleep in the swing or on the couch after falling asleep on my chest.

One big achievement this week-he's starting to smile! It'll be a while before we can catch it on camera but he's starting to smile on purpose for us instead of just for gas.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Welcome October

We have been sweltering all summer. People in town would complain at how hot it was and then they'd see me at 8 months pregnant. We've all been looking forward to the fall and cooler weather.

A in particular has been looking forward to fall. On the official '1st day of fall' she came home and told us it was fall and that she wanted to get our fall decorations down. It certainly wasn't feeling like fall at that point, but we got them down the next day and she decorated the house with pumpkins and pretty quilt hangings. She begged me to get the Halloween decorations down but I drew the line and said those had to wait for October.

Well she was sick and stayed home from school on Friday so for something to do we went ahead and got the Halloween stuff out and she got to decorate the house again, adding jack-o-lanterns and other items to the mix.

We also got down the Halloween costume I'd picked out on clearance last year for G. I found a Woody costume from Toy Story and thought I'd get it for him, even if it was for dress up. From the second he put it on he was in love. He danced around to our Toy Story music and was tipping his hat and saying, 'Howdy' and 'Partner.' He wants to wear it every day now. He even wore it out to run errands the other day with me and the people at Moe's thought he was so cute. I need to find some cowboy boots, cause it looks a little silly with flip flops, ha!

So on Saturday we woke up to beautiful fall weather. In the morning we opened the house and let the cool air in. A wanted to play outside and she was so excited about it being cooler and even got a jacket on. I overheard her say as she was about to go out, "October, here I come!"