Friday, February 26, 2010

Five on Friday :: Five for Five Years

Today we wrapped up a week long (literally) birthday celebration for Big Sticky. He had 5 different birthday "parties". I think last year he had something like 6 or 7? So at least the number is coming down.

So this Five on Friday recaps his celebrations.

1) El Magueys. Sunday after church we hit this little Mexican place in my hometown. Approximately 7 guys came out with their "Mexican Orchestra" singing some version of Happy Birthday. (at least that is what I think they were singing.)

I kept trying to get Big Sticky to lift his head so that I could take a "good" photo. But he just would not look up?? When they were finished singing, my dad lifted the hat off Big's head to return it to the Band Leader. Turns out, that hat weighed about 37 pounds. No wonder he couldn't lift his head!


And this is a photo of Princess sleeping at the table. She slept just like this while all those fellows were singing and banging tamborines and playing guitars! I guess growing up with two boisterous big brothers, she is used to sleeping thru lots of noise!



2) Pirate Party with cousins. OK, let's face it, the only thing "Pirate-y" about this party, was the cake, his hat, and the cousins... as they were decked out (pardon the pun) head to toe in matey gear and even performed a sword fight for the adults. BTW, the cake was quite tasty!




3) Red Robin Party. We've been doing Red Robin on his actual birthday since his first. So why break the tradition now? It was a Monday night and apparently every family in town had the same idea. I'm not exagerating when I say that we heard no less than ten times in one hour, "Happy Happy Birthday! May all your dreams come true! Happy Happy Brithday from Red Robin to you!"



4) Preschool Party. You have to party at school with your buddies! His teachers made this suuuper cute hat for him. He wore it home and for the rest of the evening (he even wanted to wear it to his Karate class!) Not sure where the kind of girly looking sunglasses came from. I have since bought him some (ahem) more manly/boyish looking frames.




5) Monkey Joe's. His last party was BY FAR his favorite. This was his first friend's party. I originally thought of inviting his preschool class over to our house for a Pirate Themed Party. After thinking more about the possibility of 12 five year olds in this unpredictable February weather and therefore possibly being confined to the interior of our home running around the house and breaking lamps and spilling juice and going potty , I thought "Arrrgh don't think so!!"

Instead, we opted for a party at Monkey Joe's. One of those bounce here, slide there kind of places.






And how suuuper cute are these ALIEN cupcakes? The kids loved them! If you are interested in getting your own, you can contact the baker/creator at kristen@wingenbach.org.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Great Frame Up

I am a sucker for cute picture frames. The sad thing is, only a very small percentage of all the bagillion photos I take actually make it to "print and framing." The rest end up in email, Facebook, Blogger, or they just sit and sit and sit in a little folder on my computer until the end of eternity or until my hard drive hopefully never crashes.

When we were expecting Princess, I didn't change the green wall color in the nursery. Instead I converted a lot of the accessories - basket liners, lamp shades, and of course picture frames, to girly pink. Before she arrived, the frames were sitting empty - just waiting for her sweet face to grace them. So instead of staring at empty picture frames, I had an idea to fill them with memorable things.

Some of those things included gift cards received with baby gifts. Like this one:


And this one:



And then there was gift wrap, like this:




And "artwork" that her big brothers created just for her:



And her monogram that I scribbled in magic marker on a piece of paper:




And then there was this cutie booty that actually came with the frame. I thought it was so cute I left it. I would replace it with one of my own baby's booty but I don't have lighting that good in my bathrooms (nor do I have a claw foot tub.)




And when we were expecting Little Sticky and moved Big Sticky out of the {same} nursery and into his own big boy room, he had an Elmo Sports theme decor. I had a hard time finding coordinating artwork. So on one of my regular trips to Kmart, I found the following Martha Stewart picture frames on clearance. I bought Sesame Street brithday cards, cut the character out of the card and then glued the character onto brightly colored paper and framed them. Voila! Sesame Street artwork! By the way, I found the GIANT stuffed Elmo at Kerr Drugs on clearance for 3.00! He is as big as the kids! They love to throw him down on the floor and lie all over him!



And just in case you were wondering if I actually had any photos of Princess in the nursery, you betcha'! Here is one of my favorites. Look at that cute lil' dimple!





I hope this inspires you to get creative. And you don't even have to limit the idea to your kid's rooms. I've got one photo frame that holds a cute cocktail napkin! If you have some good ideas for picture frames, please include them in a Blogger or Facebook comment to share with and encourage others!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Pirate Looks at Forty

So actually, it should read "A Pirate Looks at Five." As in my oldest. Big Sticky, turns 5 today! Yesterday started a week long birthday celebration. We had a super cute pirate birthday cake to share with cousins. Tonight we do an immediate family party at a burger joint (so they will sing to him), Wednesday he will have a giant chocolate chip birthday cake cookie at preschool, and then Friday we are doing our first "friends" birthday party at Monkey Joe's! Oh what a fun week we have planned!

I took this picture last week of my big little guy. He was {kind of} dressed up like a pirate, so I asked him the obvious, "Are you a pirate? Arrrgh!" He replies, "No, mommy. I'm Buzz Lightyear just pretending to be a pirate." Oh! I guess I was supposed to know that.


Here he is last night with his little brother who were both fascinated by the Pirate ship birthday cake.


In case you were wondering where I got the cake, I bought it at Lowe's Foods. Yes. This was a grocery store cake!! They have a new line called Signature Cakes. I thought it was super cute and it included mini-pirates with bendable joints, a canon, a treasure chest, a bandana, ship deck, and a mast. And that's exactly what we needed, more little toys for my little boys to sprinkle all over the floor so that I can step on them in my bare feet. I think they do it on purpose just to try and get dirty words out of me!


And here is a close-up of the crew. Don't their hands just look like they are waiting to be served a frosty beverage?


And here is a photo of my little matey when he was only 9 months old. His first Halloween. I forgot how chunky {and super cute!} he was..


Happy Bithday Buddy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Free-For-All :: Five for my Five Y.O.

My first. My oldest. Turns FIVE on Monday. Five! Where has the time gone? So I just have to dedicate this list of five to him on his fifth. I struggled with what items to list. Do I include his 5 biggest accomplishments this past year, my five favorite all-time memories, his five favorite toys, his (only)five knock-knock jokes that he tells over and over, the five movies that he watches again and again? In the end I decided to use 5 adjectives that best describe him this past year. Funny that they all begin with the letter I. "I" just love him so much!

Intelligent - I was worried this time last year that my little guy just wasn't getting his letters. Boy, has he shown major improvement! Not only does he recognize all of his letters now, but we routinely play letter games for fun. "Buddy, what letter does ball start with?" He will snicker and respond "G." "G? Is that correct sweetie?" "No, mommy. That's silly. Ball doesn't start with G! It's a B! I was just playing with you! {snicker, snicker}"

He is also adding. Not sure who taught him that much needed skillset, but he received two $5 bills in the mail for his birthday. He immediately says to me as he shakes the money over his head, "Mommy, five and five is ten!!" Me thinking to myself, "Hmm, how much longer now before I can train this kid to go online and pay our bills?"

Independent - Not only does he like to make his own jelly, mayo, and cheese sandwich, but he likes to choose his own clothes, buckle himself into the car, and push all the buttons on every electronic device in the house.

Independence also translates to bravery. While at Great Wolf Lodge, he scared us all when we couldn't find him, only for him to come barreling down one of the giant slides by himself! He then did it over and over and over again. He is most comfortable in the water and has been swimming face down for the past two summers and has been full out body surfing in the ocean for the past three summers.

Imaginative - This little guy thinks BIG! He is constantly making up stories, and pretend playing, and saying things that absolutely blow my mind.

Some of these things he says are intellectually amazing. While others are just down right cute. Like the time he hit his eye with a water gun. I asked him if I could kiss it to make it feel better. He responded, "but Mommy, a kiss won't make this boo-boo stop hurting. I need a cupcake. One with sprinkles on it."

Innocent - I love that he is NOT into Spiderman or Batman or any of those seemingly more "grown-up" feeling cartoons. He still loves Olivia, Max & Ruby, and Franklin. And when his little brother or sister wants to watch Elmo, he's still cool with that (for now anyway.) Oh yeah, and I love that he still loves to cuddle and kiss and hug with his mommy and daddy.

Impatient - This trait actually tickles me. I hear it several times a day, "but Mommy, that will take too long." It doesn't matter if I have asked him to pick up his toys before he can watch a movie, or finish all of his lunch before heading off to the indoor playground at Chick-fil-a , if he is in disagreement and ready for his next adventure his response is always the same. The whole birthday party thing has been doubly challenging for his patience. "Mommy, how many more days until my party at Monkey Joe's?" 10 days, 8 days, still 8 days.... "But mommmm-eee, that will take way too long!" "It's okay buddy, you will be off to college before you know it!"

Whew! I don't even want to think about that last thought right now! It amazes me how fast they grow up!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy President's Day!

Normally I don't go around wishing people a Happy President's Day. And unless you are a postal worker with a Monday vacation day, or a shopper looking for good bargain in the middle of February, President's Day is mostly well, just another day.

The boys have been busy this month at preschool learning about Groundhog Day (which became a snow day), dental hygiene, Valentine's Day, and President's Day.

Big Sticky came home this afternoon with the following artwork. I was so impressed, I just had to share. He doodled a picture of good 'Ole George and Abe. George's hair is little more spiked than his normal powdered wig and Abe is missing his signature top hat and beard, however, I thing my almost five year old did an excellent job representing their character. I know, I know, they look just a little like aliens, but hey, what do you expect?

Good job little buddy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Free-For-All :: My Valentines

On this edition, I pay tribute to my Top 5 Valentines.

5. My parents. My mom who travels two hours each way nearly every weekend to see her grandbabies. And while she's here, she typically ends up helping with laundry and picking up toys and preparing food between hugs and kisses and silly stories from the little people in our house. Then there is my dad who travels the same distance in less time (HeHe) to see his grandbabies. And while he's here, he will build out an addition to the playset, or powerwash the fence, or mend our broken gate between hugs and kisses and silly stories from the little people in our house.

Not surprisingly, there is a three-way tie for second (listed in reverse birth order).

T2. Princess. My sweet little girl who greets me every morning with the biggest dimpled grin, gives me real kisses and loves to bury her head in my lap while she gives me big hugs. And like any true valentine, she loves to share milkshakes - both chocolate and strawberry.

T2. Little Sticky. I love, love, love, how this little guy throws his arms around my knees, squeezes as hard as he can, looks up at me with his bright blue eyes and says, "Mommy, I wuuub you!"

T2. Big Sticky. This is my sweet valentine. He gives great big bear hugs and likes to cuddle on the couch while I read him a story or play the missing number game. He is a true big brother and loves to shower his siblings with gentle hugs and kisses.

1. Honey. That's what I've called him since early on. I love how he makes me laugh and plays with the kids and works so hard for our family so that I can stay home with the babies AND he doesn't mind when I add a few pounds here and there (or at least he doesn't seem to mind). And let's face it, if it weren't for him, I'd have a lot less Valentines on my list!!

Happy Happy Valentine's!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Here We Snow Again!

What does SNOW mean to a northerner? NORMALCY. My husband who recently returned from Vermont said that it snowed all week. No big deal. They showed no concern of taking to the road and don't even lift from their seat at work to peak out the window when it begins to flurry.

What does SNOW mean to a southerner? PANIC. The mere thought of the little white stuff sends us all scurrying to the grocery store to purchase every last loaf of bread and any remaining jugs of milk no matter the size of the carton or percentage of fat. You know, because we have to eat cereal and sandwiches while we're holed up for 3-4 days.

What does snow mean to a mom of preschoolers? PUNISHMENT. Obviously I have recently done something so terribly wrong to deserve this prison sentence. You might as well lock me up in a messy Lion's Den after rubbing me down with a rare Porterhouse steak and let them chomp at me. Entrapped in the house with the flurry of children bored out of their minds is making me lose mine.

So let me break it all down for you.

Saturday - Day 1: We wake up to approximately 4 inches on the ground. The stuff is still coming down sideways. However, it is no longer snow. It is sleet. The only snow that we do see is from the wind gusts blowing the powder off the roof. When the precip finally stops early afternoon, we start dressing all of the kids. It takes about 30 minutes per child to get them covered in 4 to 6 layers. By the time you get the last one dressed, the first one either needs to go to the bathroom or has already kicked off their boots or mittens. Even so, we charge forward with our wintry adventure. The boys immediately start scooping up the powder to try and make snowballs. When that doesn't work, they start diving into the snow. Everything they were doing led to one thing... after 20 minutes (less than the amount of time to dress each of them) they were wet and cold and ready to go in. Ugh.

We go inside and toss wet pants and mittens and socks and hats and jackets and scarves all over the place. After making hot cocoa, the boys and their 4 year old friend head upstairs while the adults sit down and warm up by the fire. Ahh! Now this is more like it. We talked about adult things all the while naively thinking the children were upstairs playing nice. Little did we know the boys were very busy throwing toys - lots of toys - out of their second story bedroom and onto the snowy ground below. OMG! I was horrified! So, after quickly back, back, backing the kids away from the window, I lean thru the same opening trying to grab the toys off the roof. I had to use part of their train track to flick the remaining toys onto the ground to join their toy friends. I then grabbed a bucket to trek out into the snow and pick up all the toys. The boys were then promptly put in their pjs and ordered to bed.

Day 2 - 4 (as they just announced school is closed again tomorrow) coming soon! In the meantime, enjoy pics from Day 1.

And as a sidebar, we have purchased additional safety locks for the windows as the children have obviously figured out how to unlock the ones originally provided by the manufacturer.

The picture above are the toys that landed on the roof.
The picture below are the toys that landed on the ground.


And below are all the toys that were picked up off the ground. Still covered in snow.



And of course I have to include pictures of my little snow bunnies all bundled up.