Friday, March 25, 2011

Hayes is ONE!

My baby boy turned one on March 12.  I can't believe it.  I mean, look at this sweet boy...

 And here he is now...
I can barely handle his cuteness.  Sigh.

I love that he was born on a Friday, because we had his party on his real birthday!  We had a cowboy theme, y'all, and had a rootin' tootin' good time.  Ok, cheesy words I know, but I love a good theme. 

Here is the birthday boy before the party began.  He was not too happy about having his picture taken, but I wanted to snap a pic of his cute shirt!  The boots were precious too, and he wore them for about three minutes.  Money well spent.

I went cowboy with the decor, of course.  I was so fortunate to borrow many decorations from my mom.  Vacation Bible School was a western theme last year, so she had lots of good stuff.

 The sign-in sheet for his scrapbook

 The photo timeline

 Favor basket
 Craft table for the preschool-age guests
 Our "campfire"
 His scrapbooks were on display for guests to enjoy.
The boot birthday cake, made by Papi and JJ!

We dressed with the theme, and many of our wonderful guests did too!
 Andy and Cory
 Reagan and Richelle
 Mimi, Aunt Allyson, Grammy, and Uncle Brent

 Uncle Glen and PawPaw

Aunt Bitsey
 Presents!  Hayes was interested for a short time.  Then he played in paper and boxes. 

He LOVED his cake!  He did not hesitate at all and ate almost all of it.  I can't blame him.  Chocolate cake is so much more delicious than pureed fruits and veggies.

Hayes Ryan,
           Happy first birthday!  We had such a special day celebrating you.  You are just a wonderful gift and add so much to our family.  You love to be around people and you are so smart and determined, and I can't wait to see you use these qualities to love God and love others.  

                                                                                                       Excited to celebrate many more,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Party likes it's your birthday!

 I'm linking up at Kelly's Korner for "Show Us Your Life-Kid's Birthdays"!  (PS-I am publishing this on my blog a day early and will link up tomorrow when Kelly puts it up.  I am a new blogger and am terrified to just save it or set a time for it to post.  I worked for an hour on this and I am not losing it.  Technology scares me.)

I love birthdays!  One of the things I have loved the most about being a mom is getting to plan birthday parties for my kids.  I really start thinking about their parties about 9 months ahead of time.  Yes, seriously.  What can I say, it takes time to plan a good time.

The party theme is very important to me.  We have had all birthdays at our house, so I feel like I can't rely on the atmosphere of a place.  It's up to me to make it fun!  I also want a theme that reflects the child. Once I think of such a theme, I am really inspired.  Then I start to look around for decorations, favors, food ideas, etc.  By thinking about it so far in advance, I don't feel pressured or rushed.  It also helps to spend a little bit of money at a time, instead of all at once. 

I also spend a lot of time getting scrapbooks ready and making a photo cd to play on the tv.  You won't see pictures of those things below, but I just wanted to mention that.  I really want the party to celebrate them. I want them to look back and know how very loved they were/are!

What you will see below are several parties and lots of pictures.  I couldn't just pick one!  So, go to the bathroom and get a snack before you start reading. 

You've been warned...

Bella's First Birthday

I wanted a theme other than the traditional "You're 1" pink, girly theme.  Bella's  birthday is in September, so I decided to do an apple theme! 

I had this apple dress made just for the party. 

Guests wrote special messages for her.  I have these in her baby book now.

Little guests (we had just a few and they were very young) could do apple coloring, stickers, or make Apple Jack necklaces.


My delicate girl, diving right into her cake!

Bella's 2nd Birthday 
This is probably my favorite theme ever!  Since she was turning two, we had a tutu party!
I make sign-in sheets for every party.  Then I put it into her birthday scrapbook.  It's a great way to remember who helped you celebrate the special day!

I also do photo timelines at every party.  I love to see how much she's grown!  I want the party to truly be a celebration of her!  I bought a whole bunch of black 5x7 frames and keep them to use every year.  Very easy, and the cutest decoration, if I do say so myself.

Bella and her guests wore tutus!  They all looked adorable!

Reagan was our littlest ballerina.  Sweet baby girl!

Oh my, I feel like this post is getting long and photo heavy.  I told you I love birthdays...I have the photo documentation to prove it.  Keep reading!  We're halfway done.

Bella's 3rd Birthday

At age 3, Mama no longer got to decide on the theme. She wanted an Ariel Little Mermaid party, and that was that.  Now I kinda hate the idea of character stuff at times, but she loved it so much.  I also tried to make it classy and kid-friendly at the same time.

The bonus of a Disney theme, favors are easy to find!  I have always done "pick your own bigger favor" instead of a bag of trinkets that just get broken or thrown way.

Beautiful cake, custom made by JJ!

The food table with the beautiful centerpiece by Papi.  This was the "classy", in my opinion.  We also saved that stuff and decorated Bella's little Christmas tree with it.  

We had to have something for the kids to do-a bouncer!  They loved it, and it matched the theme. 

Here's what the birthday girl wore-an Ariel shirt from Etsy.  Don't mind her sweaty hair.  Bouncing and riding your new tricycle will do that to you. 

Bella's 4th Birthday

Again, Bella chose the theme and stuck with a princess...Snow White.  Snow White (by herself) stuff is hard to find!  Thank goodness for the Internet. 

I have made her invitations every year (except for the Ariel party, I was pregnant, working, and tired.)  I am so proud of these!  We met the Evil Queen at Disneyland this past summer. 

Feeling like I needed to really play up on Snow White, I had the food in-theme.  We had "True Love's Kiss" cookies, "Seven Dwarf" layer dip, and "Poison Apples" and fruit. 

We also had the kids make their own "poison apples".  Here are the supplies.  I took that photo on the Snow White ride at Disneyland and enlarged it.  We also had a bouncer for the kids at this party, but I'll spare you the picture of that. 

And again, a beautiful princess cake made by JJ.

Whew!  Thanks for sticking around!  I hope you enjoyed the long look at our birthday fun!
If you just didn't get enough, please come back next week, because Hayes' first birthday is TOMORROW!  Where did my baby boy go?
His cowboy-themed first birthday might be the best one yet, so y'all come on back!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Flu and Fun

In case you didn’t know by reading my Facebook status updates, I had the flu recently.  And yes, I totally talked about it on Facebook to get sympathy.  Misery loves company, people.

Now, if you have not had a flu shot, you need to read the rest of this post and then go IMMEDIATELY to your local pharmacy or doctor’s office and get one.  Seriously.  Go now.  If you get the flu, it will TAKE YOU DOWN.  (It will also cost you a pretty penny.  Tamiflu isn’t cheap y’all.  A $25 shot is the way to go.)

Exhibit A

This is what I unloaded from my dishwasher one day.  Bella and I were responsible for this mess.  She tested negative for the flu, but had all of the symptoms and still took medicine.

You will be happy to know there is no Exhibit B.  I did not take a picture of myself with the flu.  Trust me, you don’t want to see that.  

Anyway, I am back.  I did live to see my 30th birthday (more on that next post).

Now I am feeling like myself again, and I must say that is the one positive about being sick…it makes me realize just how good I feel when I am “normal”.  I have never been so happy to do the regular, sometimes mundane things I do every day-laundry, taking out the trash, unloading the dishwasher.  I am happy because I CAN do these things again, without feeling like I have been hit by a freight train.

I have also been thrilled to really spend time with my kids again.  I must admit, Nick Jr. did a whole lot of parenting while I was sick.  Thank you, channel 301.  

Here are the best parts of my “normal” self days…
 Picnic with my girl
Playing outside in the beautiful spring weather

Bella saw directions for these sponge puppets in her High Five magazine and requested that we make them.  She is a girl after my own crafty heart.

Aren’t they adorable?  I think she did a great job.  (I did have to help with the cutting.  We’re still working on that skill.)
We then spent the morning, while Hayes napped, playing puppet show with them.  What kind of show?  The puppets went to school.  Yup, we played school.  Again, my daughter speaks my language.  Love this girl. 

We even had an audience for our show.  Yes, that is our cat, Lola, in the audience.  No, we did not put her there.  She came on her own free will, which shouldn’t really be a surprise because we all know cats do exactly what they want.

 Which is what I’m doing these days, now that I’m flu free.