Saturday, April 20, 2013

All Princess, All the Time

Around our house it's princess time all the time.  Miss A has entered a serious princess phase.  She loves to watch princess shows (especially Sofia the First and Tangled), play with princess dolls (Tangled and Belle go everywhere with her), color princess pictures and, of course, dress up like a princess.  Luckily, Miss A got lots and lots of dress up clothes for Christmas, so there are more than enough for my two girls and any friends who visit too.  And those dress up clothes have been getting a lot of use lately.    

I think Miss A and Little J are super cute all dressed up in their princess gear, but it can be a little difficult to get them to stop moving so I can get good pictures of them.  One trick I have is to sit them on top of our dinning room table, facing our sliding glass door.  That way I have good light and a (semi) confined kid.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Big Girl!

I still call Little J my baby.  I greet her, "Hi, Baby!" when I pick her up from day care every day.  When Miss A was the same age, I saw her as more of a big girl.  Which is funny, because Little J is so much more active.  But the time has passed by so quickly... so unbelievably crazily quickly, and Little J is not really a baby anymore.  She's a real toddler.

Little J is still such a sweet, sweet girl.  She likes to be by us, watching everything that Mommy, Daddy and especially Miss A do.  She tries to keep up.  She loves to cook in the play kitchen (and try to climb inside the oven).  She's also a good helper.  She loves to help clean up.  At Miss A's birthday party, she spilled some milk, got a towel and started scrubbing the floor.  I hope this continues as she grows!
Though Little J loves to be with us, she will also wander off to play by herself.  Her favorite toys are her babies.  How she loves to hold and rock and feed her babies.  

Oh, my sweet, silly girl.  Stay little just a bit longer.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Secret Agent Josephine

As I mentioned a few months back, we used this book as the inspiration for Little J's 1st birthday party.  It ended up being a fun night with lots of family and friends there to celebrate with us.  We had a copy of the book out for people to sign as a little birthday guest book, and some disguises for people to pick up on their way in.  There were also secret agent rings (ring pops) and explosives (pop rocks).  All of the little secret agents got their own secret agent kit including a mini notebook, crayon rings, magnifying glass and kazoo.

I made Little J a birthday banner, just like the one I made for Miss A's 1st birthday.  I'm hoping to be able to use them again for future birthday parties.  I also displayed Little J's monthly photos like at Miss A's party.  It is crazy to see the change from 1 month to 12 months when all of the pictures right next to each other.


I had two main activities set up for the little agents. First, there were supplies to decorate their own secret agent gadgets, binoculars.  The binoculars are just two toilet paper rolls glued together.  Miss A made these at day care last year and played with them for weeks.  We also have a lot of Mr. Potato heads, so I set up a Mr. Potato head station on the other end of the table for the little agents to play with.

We ordered cupcakes and a smash cake from our favorite, the Roseville Bakery.  This is the same place we used for our wedding cupcakes, as well as both girls' baptisms and Miss A's 1st birthday.  They are oh-so-very tasty!

Below are a few shots of Little J enjoying her birthday party!

And, of course, the cake!  I prefer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for the 1st birthday party (and always), because it makes such a nice big mess!  Little J was much more willing to get her hands on the cake than her big sister was, but after a little bit, she still wanted to sit on Mommy's lap.  She still ate quite a bit of the cake by the time I put her in the bathtub.

For some reason, both with her birthday and Christmas presents, Little J thought it was necessary to be on top of the presents.  Not sure why, but it was pretty cute to watch her try to get the wrapping paper off of what she was sitting on (and luckily, nothing was breakable!).

Our Mommy, Daddy, birthday girl shot for Little J's 1st birthday.
And one of the whole family.  Miss A looked SO funny in her disguise, while Little J preferred to eat hers.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cowgirl A's Birthday Party

Miss A got a set of Disney Princess books for Christmas this year.  She treasures (her words) these books.  I do not love reading the princess books, so we have a one princess book rule at bedtime.  For a long time the princess book Miss A loved the most was Cowgirl Jessie (I think Miss A, E and I could probably recite the book from memory).  After weeks of reading about Cowgirl Jessie and the rest of the Toy Story gang, I decided that a cowgirl theme would be perfect for Miss A's third birthday party.  A few Pinterest searches later, I was ready to go.
We invited a posse of little friends to come over to celebrate Miss A's 3rd birthday.  When the kids arrived, each got a cowboy hat and bandanna.  I also had some sheriff stars, but we couldn't figure out how make them stay on.  As soon as I got the cowboy gear on the kids, I took a few quick pictures with the Wanted frame.  

The decorations for the day were pretty simple.  I bought a few yards of red and white checkered fabric and flowers but pretty much everything else we already had on hand.  Lots of mason jars and tin pails.  Of course, I also had to find a way to use some of my favorite shots of a 2 year old Miss A, so I printed about 20, put them on cardstock and made a big 3 on the wall.
My biggest project for Miss A's party was creating the wild west town.  When I first searched Pinterest for some cowboy party ideas, I saw these cute western towns.  I had hoped ours could be outside too, but our deck and backyard were still under a foot or more of snow, so down to the basement they went.  

It took me some time to find appliance boxes to use, but a local warehouse gave me a few the week of the party.  E was out of town at the time, so when I sent him a picture of our wild west town, he took it as a sign that I had officially lost my mind (but admitted that it was pretty cool and the kids would probably really enjoy it).  

I ended up cutting the boxes apart and taping them back together so the writing on the boxes would be on the inside (I initially tried to paint over it, but even with dark brown over the top, you could still see the writing really well.  I had some brown packing tape that worked perfectly to get everything taped together without it being too noticeable.  This also saved me A LOT of time.  I cut out the doors and windows with an exacto knife, and then added some details with paint.  I did the bricks with a sponge and it only took about 10 minutes.  I got the whole western town done during one afternoon nap.

I also found the idea for the cake here via Pinterest.  It was really easy to make the cake, though adding the M & Ms did take some time.  Did you know there are fewer brown M & Ms in a bag than the rest of the colors?  Neither did I until having to send E out on a last minute M & M run.

Based on some advice from my dear friend Heather, I've been trying to make sure to get a picture of the birthday girl with just E and I.  So far, I've remembered.  Let's hope I can remember every year.  I think it will be nice for the girls to have those pictures when they get older.

Overall, the party was a success.  14 little ones plus 14 parents all in our little house.  It was loud, and sometimes a little crazy, but the birthday girl had a blast!  One final picture, one of my recent favorites of Miss A, my little 3 year old!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

The past months have been busy.  We've all had our turn being sick (including a round of pink eye with both girls), we've been out of town, had big and little events.  So it was nice last night, after a busy weekend, to have a night at home that didn't feel so busy.  Just the four of us, at home, taking some time to relax and play together.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And then I had a 3 year old

So, just four months after my baby turned one, my little girl turned 3.  How could it possibly have been 3 years since I became a mom?  Craziness! 
On Miss A's birthday, we took Little J to day care so Miss A could have a special day with Mommy and Daddy.  Miss A doesn't remember what it was like to not have Little J around, so she was a little thrown off at first by having time with just Mommy and Daddy.  But, I think she really loved all the extra attention.

We took Miss A to pick out her birthday present... a big girl bike!  She picked a very fancy princess bike and a princess helmet to go with it (not a big surprise... she's VERY in to princesses right now).  Then we had a fun lunch at Mickey's Dinner and spent some time and the Minnesota Children's Museum.  An extra bonus at the museum right now, one of the special exhibits is Dora and Diego!

Little Miss A may have been a little spoiled over the days leading up to and the day of her 3rd birthday, so we saw some glimpses of 3 year old fits.  Not cool.  But she was pretty sweet over my spring break, as was Little J, so I'm starting to count down the days to summer!