Thursday, November 21, 2013

How can my BABY be three!?!?

Time sure does fly <3

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Welcome to the place where words come alive...."

We celebrated Redmond's third(!!!!) birthday this past weekend.  We asked him a couple months ago what kind of party he wanted and he instantly yelled "Word World!!!!"

This theme turned out to be a little difficult.  Apparently, WW was all the rage 3-5 years ago.  Not so much anymore.  So, I wasn't able to find any themed party supplies, but I was able to order Redmond this awesome shirt from the PBS website:

He was SO excited to wear it!!

{oh, and how do you like his shiner?  Poor kid's face met the corner of the table at the library last week.}
So, since I couldn't find much to match the theme, I had to get creative.  For food I used my ABC cookie cutters to make sugar cookies and to cut pita bread into letters.  I also made a pasta salad with alphabet pasta.  For decorations, I just stuck with the color scheme of the WW logo (purple, red, green, yellow and orange).  I wish I would have taken more photos of the food and tables!


The cake was absolutely ah-mazing!!!  My incredibly talented, totally awesome friend Marie made them.  I can't even describe in words how fantastic they were so I'll just show you pictures:
See?  Amazing.

To keep the kiddies entertained, we brought our little bounce house (always a HUGE hit) and had a craft/coloring table where kids could decorate a crown or color WW characters (free printables from the website).  The biggest attraction though was the SpinTee machine Jason borrowed from his boss.  All the kids got to make their own shirt to take home!  Of course, I didn't get any pictures of that either.


The party was a huge success.  I'm so glad that he has made such great friends (thanks Kindermusik!).  He got some great gifts and had such a wonderful time.  He was so exhausted - he slept in over an hour the next morning!
 Great day for a great kid!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

ABC Sugar Cookies

As y'all are aware, I love being in the kitchen.  Baking, cooking, sautéing, roasting, whatever.  But I have a confession.  Up until a few days ago, I had never made sugar (or any other cutout) cookies.  They just seem (and are!) like so much work.  The chilling of the dough, the rolling, the cutting, the re-rolling, cutting, re-rolling again, cutting.  Seriously, the dough seems never ending.  But, Redmond had requested a Word World themed party for his 3rd birthday and I thought ABC cookies would be cute (and they were).

I bought this ginormous container of cookie cutters off of Amazon a few months ago.  I stuck it in the pantry for safe keeping until I needed to make these cookies.  From what I could tell, the cookie cutters were all pretty big, so it shouldn't take too long to cut out the cookies.  Ha!  Once I finally dug all of the alphabet cutters from the bottom I realized they were half the size of the rest of the cutters.  Fantastic!

I decided that maybe I would just freeze half of the dough - Christmas cookies! - since the cutters were so small.  So, I rolled it out (the first of 94 times) and called over my sous chef.  We got to cutting.
After lots of rolling, cutting, baking, cooling and frosting, we had some pret-ty good lookin' cookies if I do say so myself. 
They were really tasty too!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Just Another Fall Day

We've had an unusual Fall this year in MI.  We've already had our first snowfall, have been bundled up with temps in the 30's followed the next day by 50-60 degree temperatures.  All of our leaves have fallen, even our cherry tree which usually doesn't fully shed until well into winter.  The last few days have been unseasonably warm - in the high 50's - so we spent some time outside.  Redmond and Oliver enjoyed the last leaf pile of the season and Ashlyn got her first real taste of walking around outside on the grass. 



Next up:  adventures in the snow!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Peanut Butter Bird Feeders

This is a little craft Redmond and I did together a few months ago.  I had forgotten about posting it (obviously) until I found the photos in my drafts.  Anyhoo, this could be done no matter the season or weather.  There's always hungry animals around!  He actually just asked if we could make more today. 

Peanut butter

Empty toilet paper or paper towel holders

This was so simple and so fun!!  Just coat the empty toilet or paper towel in peanut butter and roll in the bird seed.

Once they're ready to go, find some branches, slide those puppies on and wait for some action!  We have a cherry tree in our backyard that worked great.  There's three feeders on there.....can you spot them??

Redmond and Jason had put a birdhouse up in our front yard in the beginning of the summer.  We tried to find a place to put one of our feeders near the birdhouse, but there wasn't a good spot.  Redmond decided he would go and tell the birds in the birdhouse to head into the backyard because that's where the food was.  Love that kid!!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Halloween 2013

Better late than never.  Amiright!?

About a month before Halloween I started talking to Redmond about it, telling him he could dress up as anything he wanted.  I was expecting the typical Superhero, Police Officer, Cowboy, etc.  imagine my surprise when Redmond declared:

"I want to be a tie, mama!"
You read that right.  A tie.  Like, a necktie.  That men wear around their neck.  I'm not going to lie, I tried to sway him to change to something different (ie: easier), but no luck.  So, after a trip to Goodwill we had our Tie costume.  It actually turned out pretty good!  Ashlyn was a little ballerina. How cute is she in that tutu!?


There were three different Halloween events we participated in this year.  The first was Boo Zoo at Binder Park Zoo.  We go to this zoo a lot so Redmond was really excited to go.  Unfortunately, all of the things he looks forward to doing at the zoo (feeding the goats and giraffes mainly) were closed. But, it was fun nonetheless.  He got some candy, played some games and looked adorable!


There was also a little party at the library.  I love seeing all of the little kids in their costumes!

Then, the main event - trick-or-treating!  The weather was cold and rainy so we left Ashlyn with Jason's parents and only went to a few houses.  We went around my in-laws neighborhood so Redmond knew quite a few of the people handing out candy.  He had no problem walking into their houses and helping himself to their candy bowls.  It was so funny!

I already can't wait for next year!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ashlyn is One!!

We officially have a house with two toddlers!!  Ashlyn turned the big 0-1 a few weeks ago!!

We just had a small party at home for her.  She had a great time, looked absolutely adorable and got some great gifts!!

She took her first steps at 11 months, but just started using walking as her main transportation mode within the last couple of weeks.

She says "da-da" and we're working on learning some signs.  She still nurses a lot and is *mostly* sleeping through the night.  Sleep has really been a struggle with her.

Ashlyn loves music and shakes her little booty whenever she hears it.  She absolutely loves her brother and really enjoys playing with him.  

She is an eater!  This girl is constantly on the lookout for her next snack.  If you don't want to share, you better eat in the closet :)

She is Oliver's biggest fan and loves to give him hugs.  Oliver is learning to be more and more lenient, but he can only take so much :)

Ashlyn - you are so much fun!  I love the way you light up and run for your daddy every day when he comes home from work.  You are a handful, that's for sure!  You are constantly trying to find things to climb up or get into - we have to watch you like a hawk :)  I'm amazed at how much sleep you don't need - you sleep less than your brother!  But, you are such a happy baby.  Even without sleep :)  We get to spend a lot of quality time together in the early morning hours - you're an early riser!  You are SO full of love!  Always up for kisses, hugs and cuddles.  Whenever you're told "no", you instantly tremble your bottom lip and begin to cry (you get that from your mommy).  I love how you rest your little head on my shoulder and wrap your arms around my neck.  You are curious, independent and absolutely beautiful.  We love you so much and are so grateful for everything you bring into our lives!  Love you baby girl!!