Sunday, November 23, 2014

James's fifth birthday party!

Sound the Octo-alert! James is (almost) FIVE!

When James turned one we had a big party with all of our family and one friend (his best buddy Owen that lives across the street). When he turned two we had a small family party at home. When he turned three we had a huge friend party in the backyard a month early, so we could enjoy the mild temperatures.

Last year when he turned four we did nothing. Not a party, not a thing. And to make it worse? He had the stomach flu on his birthday. What is worse that barfing and feeling so yucky you don't even want to open presents? It was so sad.

So this year I wanted something special. I wanted him to choose every last detail. (Juliet's posing kills me!!)
About two months ago he decided he wanted a party at Cottonwood Heights Recreation in the indoor pool. There is a perfect little party room and a huge toddler pool with a slide, water features, and everything a water boy could want.
James wanted an Octonauts themed party (which was perfect for a pool party!), he wanted cupcakes and mint ice cream ("the kind with the crumbs inside"), he wanted his sister, his cousin, his grandparents, and his best buddy Owen. After asking him a few times to invite some more friends (he has SO MANY cute friends!) he finally agreed to expand the guest list a tiny bit, and invite another friend he's had since he was a baby, Calin.

Ocean themed cupcakes with the Octonauts figures as a surprise!
The party room was perfect for pizza and drinks and wild kids.
The pool itself was of course the biggest draw.
I think James was most excited to swim with Emilia. They are the best of friends.
Indoor pool parties have the wonkiest lighting, fyi. Hard for good photos!
Calin is still as cute as he was as a tiny (tiny!) babe.

Makin' a wish!
Kids love cupcakes.
Emilia was cracking everyone up with how much she enjoyed hers.
Blue mustaches for all.
Opening gifts. Love these reactions.
Happy happy birthday to the sweetest, smartest, most amazing kiddo I know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Birthday week begins with a bike!

Late November is a tricky time to have a birthday, especially if you are hoping for a bike. For bike riding you need dry roads and temperatures that don't freeze you the moment you start to ride. So, because we wanted James to enjoy his present a bit before cold strong winter set in, we spoiled him with a present a week earlier than his actual birth date.

Sunday morning started with a very happy kiddo excited to try out his first petal bike. James became a master of his balance bike earlier this summer and we knew he was ready for a petal bike when he just wanted to go faster than the balance bike allows.

I was worried he wouldn't get it right away. I was worried he'd crash and cry and give up trying before he understood how to really petal. I wanted him to graduate to training wheels in hopes that he would get good at pedaling first.
E was intent on just trying without training wheels, since he already understood balancing.

Much to my happy surprise, fifteen minutes into his lesson we had this:
Getting started has been the trickiest part for James, but even that he's mastered since Sunday. He hasn't fallen a single time, and adores his new bike. I couldn't be more impressed.
Keep in mind, this is the first day he's ever ridden a petal bike! Pro!
This little love has also gained some skills in biking. Within the last two weeks she's started to understand how to glide, balance and ride her balance bike. This is huge, since before then she never cared for the bike at all. (Side none: the mild November weather we were having is GONE. It is freezing cold with daytime highs only in the 20s!)
Side side note: She's still not napping. Oh it is fun.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Last warm days before winter in the garden

Warm days in November are a gift; not required but welcome with open arms. And when it's warm enough to go without coats in November is reason to celebrate. Before we know it there will be cold gray days, full of wind and rain. Soon after there will be snow, because by mid November winter is knocking on our door.

So when we had a warm weekend we celebrated. We spent every single moment outside. The rain and snow is coming, but for that moment we had sun.
We of course went to Red Butte Garden. As our kids get bigger they like it more, if possible. If we ever ask "what should we do today?" almost always we hear "Red Butte Garden!"
We take a walk, look for animals (eeep! We spotted the "Easter Bunny!"), and just enjoy our time outdoors. We even packed a picnic lunch on Saturday, because why hurry home for nap time when nobody naps?
We watched this little cottontail for a long time. He was shy, but didn't hop away when my kids excitedly followed him through the garden.
Seeing their faces watching the bunny was even more cute than the bunny itself, if that's possible.
November garden trips are all about crunchy leaves, the last of the colored leaves and soaking up every last ray of sunshine.
Not napping but doing way way better than the last three weeks. Let's hope we are over the hump with this firecracker.
I've taken lots of these photos, with E and his two kids on this same bench. Gotta line them up one of these days for a Then & Now post.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Struggles with Juliet

I am struggling with Juliet. She is hard. She's been a much much harder two year old than James ever was (James was a difficult three year old).

About a month ago Juliet decided she was too old for napping. This was partially do to taking her binky away, so probably my fault. Once she stopped napping she started tearing apart her room during quiet time. Peeling the stickers off her wall (all the mushroom stickers behind her door were removed), climbing onto the dresser and emptying the drawers, and banging the walls with her feet for the entire hour that was supposed to be nap time/quite time.

Plus she's been punching, hitting and throwing toys.

Now all these things are quite normal for this age. But she NEEDS to nap. Like she's a mess without them. Every day feels like a new struggle and the time change only makes it worse. Today she woke up for the day (a day with no naps, mind you) at five am.

She was a pain at ballet. She was mean spirited for a visit with my grandma. She is trying every last bit of patience I have. And the weeks E is gone for the entire week (there have been quite a few of them) and it's just me, well I get tired and grumpy too.

Let's hope this phase is a short one. She's being so mean/fussy/tired/cranky that I'm over it. Blah.

Above: Dressed her in a new dress and took her to Gardner Village for a special Mommy/Juliet date while James was in school. She threw a huge fit that I only gave her one piece of candy from the candy store and it was so bad, and so long that I finally just had to take her home. I hate days like that.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Peso Penguin and Mr. Robot {happy Halloween!}

This Halloween was momentous in a way because it was the first year the kids got complete control over what they wanted to be for Halloween. While last year was fun when I choose Little Red Ridding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf, I knew it was a matter of time before the kids would really want to pick their own. 

This year they both had strong opinions in what they wanted to be. Both kiddos fell in love with the Disney show The Octonauts while on vacation this summer, so much so, that we purchased a few episodes since returning home. James has decided he'd like his 5th birthday party Octonauts themed, and Juliet was thrilled to choose Peso Penguin from the show as her costume of choice. 

This is what I had to work with:
She was one happy penguin come Halloween.
James chose a robot months ago because he wanted "grabbing hands." He was so excited about the grabbing hands he hardly thought about the rest of the costume at all. Luckily a silver painted piece of cardboard with a couple dials, a couple gears and a couple circuit boards did the trick. There were even two rows of LED lights that really lit up!
We paired it with a homemade headband, some grabbing hands, and some star knee patch leggings.
These two were excited! These ages are so fun, they totally get holidays and the excitement was tangible.
Lots of sweet "trick-or-treats" and "happy Halloweens!"

Neither one was afraid to knock.
Huge orange pumpkins and lots of fallen leaves make perfect backdrops. And notice James had a little back panel as part of his costume too.
We had such mild weather that nobody was in coats!
Lollipops were opened the moment they were received. Just like last year.
And we were treated to a an incredible sunset!
One of the best this autumn!
He was almost always a house ahead of his sister, but it was fun to trick-or-treat as a family.
Lots of crows in the darkening sky.
James's costume was cool in daylight but AWESOME come nightfall. Every single person we passed commented on it and said it was the best costume they'd seen. Notice we even added a glow stick below the large dial. It was so fun!
Lots of our neighbors go all out. This particular neighbor had a smoke machine, a black light, three real flickering candles and a live ghoul. So fun!
Once home we inspected their prize.
Lots and lots of sugar. Two very happy kiddos.
Related Posts with Thumbnails