Saturday, March 29, 2014

Peter Pan Party!

Maverick was so excited about his Peter Pan Party!

I had finally gotten people to RSVP, and the guest count actually turned out larger than I expected.  We were slated for about 24 kids and 25 adults.  We had a few last minute no-shows due to illness and because their children are allergic to rain (I kid...) but all-in-all we had a great time!

Yes, I made this cake!

The weather wasn't the sunny day I had hoped for.  In fact it rained most of the morning and early afternoon.  Luckily, by the time the party rolled around the rain had slowed to a drizzle and then stopped completely about 30 minutes in to the party.  I dressed my boys in raincoats and off they went.  I don't think any of the kids minded.  The sun even peeked out towards the end of the party.  What more could you ask for?

Pirate fight (with The Flash)

I was so excited that Maverick's best girl friend (his words) could attend the party.  Her name is Helen, and they are two peas in a pod.  She (and her mom) sat next to Maverick for the dinner part of the party.  

After food, there was games.  The kids walked the plank and then threw rings around the tick-tock crock.  We then searched for buried treasure.  The original plan was to dig in the sand for our treasures, but I nixed that based on the earlier weather.  We dug in an inflatable baby pool filled with balls instead.

Maverick was so happy to have all the attention on him while we sang Happy Birthday!

After a quick bath (for the little two) we let Maverick open his presents.  
What a fun (and exhausting) day!

Happy Birthday Maverick!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dentist Time!

Today was a fun morning.

I got to take all four boys to the Dentist.

Chandler and Brighton are champs at this, but it was Maverick's first official cleaning since he just turned three.  He originally was on the schedule as a "baby" visit, but I thought he could handle a cleaning.  I sat next to him (Jamison in my lap) and he was a little unsure at first.

The hygienist did her best to relax him by showing him each tool that she was going to use before starting and let him touch them.  He even squirted the water squirter (and got a little carried away with that!).  He was timid about it, but didn't cry or become uncooperative.  This was especially impressive since the young boy next to him was crying, hitting, and screaming, all while trying to be held by his grandmother? who was promising a trip to McDonalds if he would cooperate.  

After the cleaning, Dr. Dave came and gave his inspection.  The good news is that Maverick's teeth look cavities.  The bad news is that he has a cross-bite in several locations.  His upper jaw is very narrow, like his Daddy's (and Chandler's) and he will most likely need orthodontic work in the future.  Better start saving now!

Both Chandler and Brighton had good checkups.  Chandler will be back in one month for a sealant on his permanent molars and also for another Orthodontic recheck, but more on that later...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Jamison Walks!!

Oh my baby is walking!!???

How in the world did this happen???  My earliest walker (Brighton) was about 15 months.  
Jamison has other ideas though.  He took his first steps today to my mom.  It won't be long before he's running!

Once Dad got home, he practiced some more and Dad was able to snap a few photos.  He gets in about 3-4 steps before starting to "dive" as seen below:

I think the most he did at once was about 8.  Way to go Jamison!  You are growing up too fast!

Also, Happy Birthday to Nanny.  We celebrated on Saturday, but didn't get any pictures :(

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy Birthday, Maverick!!

My baby, Maverick is now three!

It seems like just yesterday that I was about 3 weeks away from my due date and making soup during nap time when I decided that, "this baby is coming now!"

Maverick, you are such a sweet little boy!  You are definitely well-named though because you definitely have a feisty and independent streak to you.  You still are the "baby" in the house and get your way most of the time.  Daddy thinks that I'm a softie when it comes to you, but he is too....don't let him convince you otherwise.  It's hard to resist when you've been put in bed and we hear you crying and we come in to ask what's wrong and you say, "I need a hug."  That is usually the case and you get your hug and then you are fine and off to sleep.

You attend your school (which is a MMO program) two days a week.  This fall you will age-out of this program and start going to our church's preschool on M-W-F.  I'm sure you will do fine, but it will be a transition for you because MMO is all you've known.  You have so many friends there and it's cute to see your personality emerging as you describe them.

Your birthday celebrations were not what we intended today.  With the ice on the streets, schools and our MOPS meeting was closed/cancelled.  We made the best of it and played inside for most of the day.  You opened your presents from Mommy & Daddy after breakfast which was a Peter Pan book and some pirate/Captain Hook gear.  Aunt Jenny and Chloe even popped over with a present for you as did Granddaddy Bob, Mimi, and Grandma too.  You are certainly a loved little boy!

For dinner you requested tacos, one of your favorites.  I did take the easy way out with some store-bought cupcakes which you only ate the icing off.  I figure since I'm making a Peter Pan cake, I can have a free pass for one night.  I'll have to post your stats in early April when you, Chandler, & Jamison all get your checkups.  You have gotten so tall!  I had to switch out all your 2T pants for 3T a month or so ago.

Maverick, at three years old you still take a nap.  It's about 1.5 hours in the afternoon.  You go to bed about 7:30 and get up about 7:15 am.  You are definitely our family's pickiest eater.  You don't like most breads or pastas.  You won't eat pizza.  To you, it's all about presentation.  If it looks funny or something is "off" you won't even consider trying it.  You will eat a quesadilla but not a grilled cheese.  You really like meats and call most things chicken.  You still like fruits, but sometimes can be picky about which ones.  Some days you eat hardly anything and others you eat more than Daddy.

You love to play outside and enjoy being a big boy with your older brothers and whatever they are doing.  This often results in tears because you can get too rough with them while "pretending" to fight....the tears aren't generally yours :)  You love trains and trucks.  You also like playing in the pretend kitchen and cooking for Mommy.  
Maverick, you are so special to our family and we love you so much!

Monday, March 17, 2014

My little Leprechaun

We had a little more fun later on dressing up for Saint Patrick's Day
and playing with a balloon:

Such joy in this face:

Oh no...I lost my ballon!

Golf outfit preview for 1st year pictures.  Such a cutie!  I can't wait to see them!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Saint Patrick's Day is Here!

Time to break out the green.

Too bad Mommy remembered this after 3 out of 4 boys were dressed already.  Who knew changing clothes would cause so much angst?  Not sure why Brighton was being difficult for these pictures, but by the time he straightened up....

Jamison was done!  So we tried standing up....

This didn't last too much longer either.  Oh well...

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

A certain two-year-old has a Special Day tomorrow....stay tuned for more Birthday fun!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Chandler's Party

We had Chandler's party today, right after school.  Even though his birthday is 3 weeks away, we held it early in hopes of a better turnout (his real birthday falls during "spring break" so many of his classmates might be on vacation).  I had won a birthday party held at Monkey Joes in a silent auction, and I was really impressed.  It was easy and all the kids had fun!

Monkey Joe himself made an appearance and gave Chandler a t-shirt.  Only one of the children was afraid of Monkey Joe...he didn't stick around long.

I like this picture of Chandler.  He was so happy with all the attention focused on him during the "Happy Birthday" song.  He methodically blew out the candles one-by-one.

One of the "perks" of having your birthday at Monkey Joes is the ticket grab.  They let Chandler, and he picked his brother, Brighton, to go inside a phone-booth type box and grab little slips of paper on it that are swirling around because of a fan.  He had a few minutes to grab as many tickets as he could.  He did quite well and got over $18 in prize money and also a free pass for 10 visits to Monkey Joes.  That will be something fun for us this summer, I'm sure.  

Here Chandler and friends count out the tickets and decide on prizes.

Four brothers.
One fun birthday party.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014



Birthdays are always a fun day in the life of a child.  We always throw parties for my children for their birthday.  Not that we have anything against presents, but it can get overwhelming quickly for both parents and children, so we like to mix it up.  The trend we have seemed to develop is:
Odd Years = Big Party/Presents
Even Years = Small Party/"gift" swap
*exception made for age 2, when they have a small party and open presents,
since this is the first year they really "get it"

Also, since our trend seems to be have a baby when you are planning a party, this throws another monkey into the wrench, but we just go with the flow:

Here's sweet Maverick, born less than 24 hours before Chandler's 4th B-day:

And yes, we still had the party!  Luckily, I was smart enough to not plan it at my house that year.  Chandler did a book swap with his friends and it was so simple.  There were no thank-you cards for me to worry with, and no overwhelming amount of toys/stuff entering my house.  With a one-day-old baby, this was a life-saver!

Chandler's 2nd Birthday was a few friends and a Easter Egg Hunt (with no candy in the eggs)

For Chandler's 3rd Birthday, we did a construction theme and I made this awesome cake:
As you can see it's a construction scene that is placed in the back of a dump truck.  As a rule, I like to make my own birthday cakes for my children, but with imminent babies, sometimes I just buy one.

Brighton's 1st Birthday was a sweet, simple party with just some cake, cookies, and punch.

For Brighton's 2nd Birthday we had a morning "playdate" with balls as the theme and enjoyed some doughnuts, OJ, and fruit salad.  We also ended up blowing bubbles outside in the yard.  

Maverick's 1st Birthday had a St. Patrick's Day Theme.

I love this picture of our family of 5.  I was not yet pregnant with Jamison, but knew in my heart our family was not complete.  It would be a short 3 months before I would become pregnant.  
This picture is also special because it is one of the last ones we have of our family's porch 
before the addition.  

To me, age FIVE is a big deal.  This is your last year of preschool, and you are entering the world of "big kid" and leaving babyhood behind.  Chandler celebrated this milestone with another Easter Egg Hunt themed birthday.  This time there was candy!  Our neighbor graciously let us use his yard for the hunt and even hid the 300-400 eggs.  It was a blast.  We also played games such as egg on the spoon and sack races.  

Since Brighton is my only Fall-Baby, he lucks out.  He will never have a shared Birthday party.  For his 4th Birthday we went to Hill Ridge Farms.  It was so much fun.  He decided on an art-supply swap and so all the kids brought something and Brighton got first pick, and the other children then took a turn.  Everybody goes home with something, so "favors" are covered and there aren't any thank you notes.  

We had all day access to Hill Ridge and took up as much time as we could before heading home for naps.  The corn pit was a hit as was the train and the pony rides.  

For Maverick's 2nd/Chandler's 6th we had "Happy Dan the Magic Man" do a show at our house.  Once again, I tried to play it safe by hiring a party since I had a baby due any day.  This time we ended up with a three-day-old baby, instead of a one-day-old baby like two years earlier.  I guess that's better...

Anyways, the show went on, and I was thankful for the small crowd.  Chandler had a few friends from kindergarten and church, and Maverick had one friend.

Hopefully my Spring-Babies don't mind sharing parties, because FYI they will have just 1 party for all of them when they turn 2, 4, and 8!

For Brighton's 5th, I really debated about having this one at home.  I like to do that for the big FIVE, but with a 6 month old and three other little ones, I knew I might become overwhelmed.  Our compromise became to have it at our church.  Wow, was this a good decision!  There was minimal prep that I had to do, and cleanup was a breeze.  

We took them outside for a piƱata, and managed to not have any injuries (minus a little hand that got stepped on during the candy rush).  Games at parties are so much fun.  For Brighton's Halloween-themed party we did "Pin the nose on the Pumpkin", a spooky "hot-potato" game, and also made popcorn hands and a few other crafts. 

For Brighton's 3rd Birthday I made this cute Owl cupcake-cake:
I was super proud of how it turned out!

I also made these cute little owl babies to go along with it:

Invitations are also fun to do.  I don't always do paper invitations, but they make for great keepsakes. This year, Maverick is requesting a Peter-Pan Party!  I couldn't help but draw up a Never, Neverland Map for his invitation.  Grandma, the seamstress, will be making Peter Pan hats for the boys and I also have tinker bell wands and some Indian headdresses for the party.  I know it will be so cute!

This is all leading up to my baby, Jamison turning ONE!  I cannot believe it.  I'm happy, yet sad.  
I decided to do a theme of fish and say that he's O'fish'ally ONE.

I found some print-your-own invitations and added some cute stickers to them.  I also had some address labels made up with his picture.  I can't wait to get these in the mail soon.  
They just make me smile.  

Here are my final thoughts about Birthdays (for those still reading this very long post!!)

Please give people the courtesy of actually responding to an invitation.  I just get so annoyed at how many people have to be hounded to respond if they are going to attend your party or not.  All I can think is, were these people never taught manners?  In these days of texting and e-mail there is no excuse that you have been to busy to respond.  I understand that some people genuinely forget, but in most cases this is not the reason for lack of response.  People are just so non-committal these days.  

Speaking of manners, when you RSVP "yes" to something it is very rude to then change your reply to "no" when something better comes along.  Seriously?  

Another thing that seems to be going by the wayside is thank you notes.  Call me old fashioned, but a thank you note is a requirement for my boys for all of their gifts (the years they receive them).  

Our church's theme for Lent this year is generosity and gratitude.  These things must be taught to our children, and thank you notes are a small way to help teach that. 

Okay, enough ranting....let the celebrations begin!