T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Sunday, November 9, 2014

BB's Owl Themed First Birthday Party...

How could I not go over board on our baby's first birthday since it would be my last first birthday party I would host for one of my kids?!?

Last year, for my baby sprinkle (aka small baby shower), my sister asked me to make some crochet items that would be used as prizes. Some of the items I pulled together were crochet owls. Since then, the theme seems to be a recurring one for her. Then a friend introduced me to Pintrest (bad, bad friend!) and it was all over after that.

It was a wonderful party. Most of the important folks in BB's life were in attendance. It was so nice everyone could meet her part time family - Ms. B and her kids. They made her the cutest family of owls as her gift. So charming. Neighbors D and M who rushed over at a moments' notice the night of BB's birth wrote her a special poem. Very moving. Most of her aunties, an couple of her uncles, special friends/teachers, grandparents, and neighbors were in attendence. She was a happy girl most of the time cruising among her guests and impressing everyone with her new walking skills.

Here are some of the details in photo form. More of her enjoying the party will be posted on her personal blog. 

- I made her dress (owl dress - combo party dress/Halloween costume). The colors of her dress designated the color scheme of the party.
- Invitations - wings closed and opened to reveal details of party. Interestingly, my "helpers" did not always assemble them so a couple folks ended up with blank invitations. I think they got a little excited about sealing the envelops first. I think it was just wonderful they wanted to help.
- Deviled eggs are a family favorite - owl shaped, of course. 
- No party of mine is complete without punch.
- T colored the owls during free time at school He made about 8-9 total. I was proud of him for doing this which means he finished his assignments at least 8-9 times that week and he thought of his sister and wanted to help with the party. 
- My sister painted the owl family with the crocheted owl (recall those I made for the shower) in the shadow box. My mother-in-law did the pillow. Owls by Ms. B, and the N family brought cute owl outfit. Good Neighbors D and M's poem.
- For favors I crocheted some owls (they are on the tree as well as featured with a sample of BB's dress fabric), made some owls out of baby food jars (I thought this cleaver for a 1 year old birthday), and I also sewed up some "Boo Whoooo's" so called because they are rice filled and can be used for cold or warm compresses. Since the party I have received several messages from parents of kids who "adopted" and owl and it's the new favorite luvie. 
- I turned balloons into owls
- The cupcakes were a last minute design when I just could not decide what to do for dessert (P.S. BB did not like frosting - she may end up being like her brother, less of a sweet tooth, but we shall see!)

Halloween 2014

We started out with a friendly witch and James Bond and ended up with James Bond, Mulan, and Owl Baby. I participated a bit wearing my angel costume. I had to work on Halloween but wanted to ensure my costume was something my pediatric patients would not be frightened by. This worked perfectly with one of my white work blouses. By the end of the day, though, I was not feeling too angelic, especially after attempting photos with my kids.

T LOVES James Bond and anything spy related. I will post a photo of the "Spy-crow" he made for school on his blog but it was awesome. So, it HAD to be his costume this year. It was a simple one - used his Sunday clothes, added a costume bow tie, and I purchased a $12 used tuxedo coat off ebay.

Sister's witch costume was a menagie of clothes she had acquired - her Auntie J made her a broom so she wanted to be a witch. Then, at the last moment, her dad had a friend pass along some costumes one of which was a beautiful Mulan. After spending the day at school in her Mulan outfit, she would not take it off so Mulan with a flying broom she was!

Baby's owl costume is her birthday dress with a hat I made to match. She would wear her dress 2 days later at her party and it was perfect. Of course, I would be up until midnight the night before crafting her hat - me and my last minute crafting. You can see how thrilled she was by the hat.

Thanks to my friend for stopping over with the rest of the Brady Bunch on Halloween so we could see their wonderful costumes (recall that Elsa dress from a few postings ago?!?) and for the photos - hers were far better than mine.

I also included a photo of our house outside on Halloween - Hubby and the big kids did a great job on the decorations. 

So here you have them - enjoy!

Brady Bunch...

Iron Woman's kids come over a couple morning per week and share breakfast with us. We call these the "Brady Bunch" mornings reminiscent of the ironic show. We enjoy these mornings and my kids very much look forward to them. Here are a couple photos - the first from our first morning together and the last from a recent morning. Now BB is old enough to join us at the table during breakfast. What's interesting in these two photos, too, is the different lighting. As the days are getting shorter, you can tell it is darker in the morning.

Whomever helps me set the table gets to designate where everyone sits. Of recent, one of the four year old girls is eager to help. Such power to determine the fate of where everyone sits, what kind of place-mat they get, and what design of cloth napkin!

Apparently, Hubby is semi-famous for his perfect toast. 

The breakfast table conversation is also quite entertaining - oh what is important to 4-9 year old kids. I have taught them all my morning growl as well. That always generates a smile.

It can be hectic getting everyone going and then off to school but thus far, we haven't been tardy to school once - close a couple times, though!

Where I've been Part II - Vacation September 2014 - Sun Valley

We'd been taking about a family vacation for a while. We bounced back and forth on ideas all the while saving money. Then with all the medical expenses we generated this year having a baby, her having a chronic illness, T's surgery, etc - we opted to save our pennies and do an inexpensive trip. We timed it to go along with a medical conference I needed to attend. It worked out perfectly. 

Baby was still not 100% after starting long term antibiotics but we pushed through and actually being the on trip fixed her as we unintentionally mixed her probiotics for mine. She got a mega dose and a day later several weeks of diarrhea resolved. Plus, the kids had a great time spending time with their dad. 

We rented a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo. Since it was the off season, barely anyone was around and those who were around were apart of the conference.  We got a smashing deal since it was off season and conference discount. My conference ran from 6 am to 1 or 2 pm the two days. That left the latter part of the day open for shopping, hikes, swimming, eating. The weather was perfect and the fall leaves were just starting to turn. Plus, the Lodge were we were at is just beautiful.

I purchased lots of new small toys and craft items to keep the kids going on the trip. We took a selection of movies as well as popcorn and that was often a highlight of the day. Exploring and swimming were also big hits as well.  BB discovered the baby in the mirror and was most happy about that! I also cannot forget to mention the big treat that watching a movie in the van was - it was the first time we've used our video feature in the van and were the kids excited! Baby did not care for the 3 hour road trip - she cried most of the trip up but slept most of the trip home. So, at least it ended on a good note.

Here are some photos from our trip:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Frozen Dresses

This is way behind in being posted but I still wanted to write it even though it is about three months delayed.

We have become close with a special family. Their mommy (aka Iron Woman) is going to graduate school. Having done that with two small children I know how tough it is. She's just as crazy as I am and is doing it with three small children. We have a fairly complex schedule of juggling kid duties on my non-work days (Tues-Thurs). We are more than happy to do it to help as part of a team effort to help her through school. Let me tell you, it has been such a blessing to us to have these kiddos around and to have this special family in our lives.

For the girls' birthdays this summer I made them Frozen dresses. The older, L (T's age), asked me one day on the way home from kindergarten last year, "Ms. J, could you make me a Frozen dress?" (as I had just made one for Sarah). I replied, "I don't know, L. I have a lot of projects going on. Maybe I can finish it for Christmas." She was totally fine with that. Well, I really wanted to get them done for their birthdays. At that point, there were very few Frozen costumes or even homemade Frozen dresses available. I had designed my older daughter's from my own ideas. It was not perfect but it was comfortable, washable, and most importantly, sufficiently Frozen for her.

It took about a month to pull these together but it was worth the expression on L's face when she saw it. She would lament to me, "Christmas is a long time away". So I had a little "Christmas in July" gathering for our two families - put up a tree and hung stockings and everything. I had the gifts wrapped under the tree and at the end of our evening together they opened their gifts. I kept waiting for the "ah hah" moment when L would realize what Christmas in July meant but she did not quite catch on which was also exciting because it kept things a surprise. When gifts were opened, she was one happy girl. There is a photo of L with arms in the air from excitement.

However, this event did spark a tradition which we plan to pursue each year and that is "Christmas in July". My four year old, Lil Sister or S, wanted to hear about Baby Jesus every night before bed for several nights and she still requests Jesus stories for bedtime. Because all of us have birthdays around Christmas as well as all the craziness the holiday season brings, getting the full dose of Christmas joy is often hard. This was a great way to be able to bring that back and focus on the true meaning versus just going from one family gathering or event to another. 

Some of the photos are provided by Iron Woman and some I took. I have to say, the girls' dresses turned out better than S's. She still loves hers, though, and I will likely make her another when she out grows this current one or decides she wants a different look. Oh, and it went perfectly as  L and B's birthday party was, of course - Frozen!

About the photos - early ones are from our Christmas in July celebration - tree, cookie making, Nativity stickers, cookie decorating (oh yes, it went everywhere and I am still finding Christmas colored food beads but it was still awesome), and gift opening. 

I have also included some of just the dresses and how I put them together. (I used buttons to attach the capes versus velco. I crocheted the snowflakes and the edging on the dresses. I did also make the crowns and the storage bags. 

I also had to make my little baby daughter a special dress to wear to the birthday party - an Anna dress (she was SO cute I just kept smiling seeing her in her little dress). 

I also added some photos of S wearing her Frozen wig which I made from yarn. I crocheted a few snowflakes to put on it so it looks more Frozeny (I think that word needs to be added to the English dictionary after all the crazy Frozen phenomenon. 

Last set of photos are the girls wearing their dresses and maybe one crazy one of their older brother being silly wearing the matching gloves (that was my sweet Hubby's contribution - he wanted in on the fun, too). Little B was showing her unhappiness that I made the sleeves of her dress a bit too tight. Don't worry, I think the problem has since been fixed as I put in new elastic in them.