I almost didn't make Monkey a birthday shirt. But he really wanted one.
So, the night before his big day, I got it done. Thanks to my better half, who is much more detail-oriented, who carved the stencil for me!
It's the korean number 9, or ahop as they say in taekwondo class. Apparently there are different ways to write it, but I went with the one they say. Don't tell me if I'm wrong.
I like how it turned out! It's metallic silver.
BTW, I went to target for his shirt, grabbed a size L, and when I got home I was surprised that they had apparently changed their boy shirt sizes! It's always been S(5-6), M (7-8), L(10-12), and XL (12-14). BUT this shirt was a L(12-14). What's with that, Target? Good thing he likes it, it will fit him for a long while!
Anyway, gathered together my collection of handmade birthday shirts, it is fun to look back!
(That was a lot of links to make! Hopefully I didn't mess any up...)
Girl's 7th she had a pretty birthday dress, her 10th she had a rad 80's outfit that I did NOT make. Her 12th I did make her a birthday skirt? Can I make her one for her 14th coming up? (14th! That seems so old!)
Hmm, I used to applique a lot, but definitely turned to stenciling more.
So many birthdays documented - love it!
In honor of my baby turning nine, which was almost two weeks ago (eight years later, my blogging skills are lacking, yeah?), I thought I'd share with you a few of his random thoughts.
This kid is the most random I have ever met. He comes up with these gems in the middle of a conversation, in the car, when he's supposed to be doing math, or while (the rest of us are) eating. Completely out of the blue.
His Dr. said there's definitely something special going on up there. Not sure what he meant by that...
Anyway, I've been trying to jot down some, missing MANY, and here are a few favorites (a few of these I tried to turn into cheesy Jack Handy style Deep Thoughts for a friend's bday):
What if someone had a fireball-shooting tongue ring? They would not want to let it fall into enemy hands.
Do you think a praying mantis would eat a honey nut Cheerios like a donut?
If they would have had mustard gas in the civil war, it would have been a sign that technology was moving really fast, and we might have had flying cars by now!
I wish I could control my personal gravity.
I still think its hard to think of what qualifies as the sky.
Would it be more environmentally friendly to have a smoke screen made out of flies instead of smoke? Like if you had a jar full of flies and opened it up so they all swarmed out? It would also be healthier.
When you were a kid did elevators have as many buttons?
There are two things I would really like to invent: an exhaust powered car, so that would stop pollution and global warming... or at least slow it down, and a book making machine that reads your brainwaves and writes it down as a book. So you can be doing something else and writing a book at the same time.
What if there was a mirror down here and a mirror up in my room and a system of mirrors in between so that I could see everywhere? If you were doing something you didn't want me to see I wouldn't look, and if you were watching something scary I would cover the mirror with a cloth.
If I look at clouds for too long, I get hungry.
So. I'm thinking his grown up career should be 'Person in think tank of eccentric billionaire'. Or a mythbuster?
Whatever he does, it's gonna be AWESOME.
ps. The monkey/post office and the fireball tongue ring are my faves!
This year I was extremely grateful that it wasn't a Friend Party Year for this kiddo. And that we had the reusable decorations on hand already and I found 4 Happy Birthday balloons in the junk drawer.
And washi tape to brighten up the only non-Christmas wrapping paper I have on hand.
I was also super grateful that I was like 90% better yesterday (woo!) and could go out and celebrate my amazing redhead. Who is now 11. Eleven seems so big. Eleven means a BOY scout shirt instead of a cub scout shirt.
But eleven year olds still like mud pies (Hoth printables from here).
Really, there was Lego. And a new season of Clone Wars to watch. He was totally happy.
(He was only 3 when I started this blog!)
A couple months ago I was chatting with a friend who has two teenaged daughters. She was telling me how hard it was, how emotional they were, etc.
I was telling this to my friend and she said 'You go inside and get on your knees RIGHT NOW and thank God.' It was funny.
Right then the girl got home from an activity, so I gave her a big hug and thanked her for being awesome (later I thanked God).
She says she doesn't want a typical teenaged mother/daughter relationship. She wants to have more of a Lorelai/Rory relationship (yes, She's been watching Gilmore Girls). I'm okay with that.
So here we go, into the teenage years - I'm really okay with it. She'll only get better.
Happy Birthday to my girl (who had just turned six when I started this blog!).
Because he's SUCH a Calvin. And he is reading my complete set (I've given up trying to keep those away from the kids) as I type this. I grew up with Calvin, too, so it makes me happy.
We did a quick photoshoot, basically dressing him kinda like Calvin, and sending him down a hill in a wagon a bunch of times.
And making Calvin-esque sneaky faces.
Oh, and plush Hobbes didn't get done in time for the party, darn it. But you've gotta let stuff go, right?
I stencilled the stripes and Calvin silhouette for his birthday shirt.
This year we held the party at our church. LOTS of room to play.
I blew up a Calvin image (much like the 80's posters from this party) but I wasn't too careful putting them together...
I wish I'd gotten a closeup of the table - they had cute red with white polka dot paper straws, sparkly (annoying) noisemakers, and comics lining the table. It was fun.
The banners are circles of Calvin pictures and newspaper triangles.
One corner of the room was the Box Corner. I've been saving them... A few were turned into time machines and transmogrifiers.
Other activity setups (click to see anything bigger):
Newspaper hats, Calvin's comic corner, dinosaur tattoos,
And then we just needed guests.
Let's go back to the food table...
I totally forgot bowls for the 'tiger tails' and pretzels! Classy. Did the boys care? Nope.
Also I think The Girl may have been offended that I made a G.R.O.S.S. sign. But I had to, right? While they were eating cake the boys had a club meeting. ;)
I also forgot to stick in the Calvin cupcake toppers I made! Darn it!
We had comics on the food table as well as prints from our little shoot.
Chocolate eight pops, cupcakes (sans toppers, boo!), 'tiger tails' (cheetos), pretzel sticks, and...
Chocolate frosted sugar bombs (cocoa puffs)! Adorable printable transmogrifier papercraft found here.
I had so much fun making the Eiffel Tower chocolate pops last year I thought I'd do some again. Visually they look good on a table, too. But red and white? Was more Halloween-y than I had intended... a few were kept in reserves because they were a bit too 'dripping blood-ish.'
Also I forgot my floral foam blocks to stick them in. Luckily the Box Corner had a big piece of styrofoam in it! But then they didn't stand up straight, oh well!
Okay, remember all those activites I set up? That was a Just In Case kinda thing. Here's what they did:
(Please click to see that one bigger because my boy dressed as Calvin wearing swimming goggles running around in a time machine box kinda slays me).
They played with those boxes. No organized games, and while a few did get hats, a few dino tattoos, and a few knocked the cups over (with a balloon or their hand while zooming by), the boxes WERE the party. Well, boxes and treats. And that was awesome.
They drew, cut, punched, transmogrified, chased, hid, sneaked, ran and ripped.
Not your typical party game!
Let's talk goodie bags.
I wanted to make sugar cookie favors (again (and again)) but the kitchen thingy we're doing didn't allow. As it is, my daughter made the cupcakes at Grandma's kitchen. So I made a list of some of Calvin's favorite things, and whipped up some little Calvin pins (fun to break out the button maker!) as well. All tucked into little white craft paper bags with red/white tape to cute it up. (side note: I found teeny packs of playfoam - the boys LOVE playfoam, and it is a necessity for the redhead - on amazon for cheap!)
The boys had fun, especially the birthday boy, yay! A proper celebration for an eighth birthday? Check and check.
Next up: the baptism celebration! Oh goodness.
Today's a big day for our littlest (not so little!) guy. His big 8th birthday. Today he has a belt test at taekwondo followed by family dinner at a restaurant he picked. His party is Saturday, His baptism is a couple of weeks after. AND this morning he got to dump his booster seat.
Holy moly my baby is grown up!
Tigger was a stand in, because Hobbes hasn't happened yet. Hopefully by Saturday...
Happy birthday to the silliest 8 year old I know, who will ALWAYS be my baby.
Well, here's a photo overload for ya! Because I know there are other quirky awesome kids out there who love the Fetch show, too, and let me tell you, there are VERY FEW Fetch Birthday party ideas floating around the interwebs. Weird but true. ;)
The redhead chose a Fetch theme months ago. He's been stoked about it. Fetch is a pretty cool show, I have to admit.
Anyway, here we go:
Invites: I modified the Fetch Club invitation (lots of printables somewhere on here) to turn it into a birthday invitation, also adding the bunting Ruff is holding to make it more festive, and the number 10. Oh, and taking out corporate sponsors on the bottom. ;) Because they didn't pay for the party.
Also from the print shop (I don't have a color printer, so I emailed
some PDF's to a local print shop and had them print on white cardstock.
Then I swung by and picked everything up - easy!) were these
certificates, also modified from printables you can get from PBS.
Other decor/projects: a door sign,
some fun foamboard cut-outs (yes, I like cut-outs
and this one seemed appropriate. I painted these while watching
election night coverage - funny, last presidential election I was making these invites for his Star Wars party!),
Speaking of circles...
This easy peasy garland was done with baker's twine, washi tape and the cardstock circles (and if anyone is in need of one of these, I could be persuaded to give it away). It is about 6 ft long.
(Our couch isn't always placed that awkwardly, we moved it to create a bigger open area. Which was very smart.)
We got these lanyards (ordered CHEAP on ebay) on the boys quickly before this happened:
BTW, I didn't plan on repeating the lanyard thing (Lego party), but they had a printable name tag on the PBS website that was too good not to use. Plus, it's kinda fun to have something for the kids to wear that's not a party hat (or a tshirt, which would be more $$).
Then the kids were divided into two teams and given their first
challenge (I made up some story about Ruff wanting to build a tower onto
his doghouse, so he wanted them to try and make something tall with
materials found... in the mailbox (oatmeal box)! GO FETCH!
Inside the mailbox were marshmallows and toothpicks (we love this).
They could work individually, in pairs, or however they wanted, but the winning tower got extra points for their team. Star stickers were given out for the backs of their tags, but we weren't consistent at this.
Next up: target shooting with nerf guns. My husband hung up paper plates from the ceiling in the playroom (I wrote numbers on them and drew cats on a few of them - because Ruff doesn't like cats) and they had to add up the points they got for their team. Everyone got six shots, and my daughter was busy reloading guns while my husband kept score. This part got a little crazy, it would have been better with a smaller group! ;) And I took no shots during this section, but you can see the plates here (and the cluttered not-Apartment-Therapy-worthy-anymore playroom! ;)
After this we did a Half-Time Quiz Show! Each team was asked five questions. They varied between questions about what we'd done at the party, questions about the birthday boy, and questions about the Fetch show. BTW, this is about when we stopped keeping score for the teams and no one noticed or cared.
(and 'kibble' (cocoa puffs), skittles, soda, and chips - wow, junk!)
Because I'd glazed cookies the day before, I didn't feel like FULLY making a frosting mess again the next day by making a Ruff cake. So the wonky cake has 3 dog bone cookies stuck in it and skittles around the edges. Done and done.
I broke out some of my precious Heather Ross fabric as a little table runner. Orange AND dogs! Perfect!
I had a couple more activities planned (make a costume for a stuffed animal out of paper and building with index cards) but we ran out of time so we opened presents next, the boys hung out, and then they got their 'doggy treats' and certificates.
The treats were sugar cookies and more 'kibble'. I really like giving cookies as favors
instead of plastic junk. I glazed the dog bone cookies and ... well,
maybe I'll get it right the third time around (Monkey's party will be in
April! I kinda hope he picks a Lego theme, because we already know what to do! ;)
Then, when I'd kicked all the guests out, we all took a deep breath and vegged on the couch for a while while the boys went through the loot pile.
He did awesome.
I was a little worried, because, while I haven't written about this here, the redhead has NOT had a great year. Especially post-fire. But we are in the midst of changing some things up and trying new treatments, so hopefully things will start looking up. ANYWAY, being around a million (11 guests + a brother) boys sounded too hard. But he really wanted to invite a lot of boys, plus our street has a million boys on it and they all play together, so it's hard to draw the line. PLUS, his next party will be in two years... and who knows what the social situation will be then. Maybe there won't even be a friend party. So let's live it up this year, I say! It was LOUD and he didn't love that. He didn't fully participate in all the activities, but he loved having his friends over - he was so happy. He LOVED when they sang to him, and made a nice little 'toast-like' speech afterwards. He was ready for them to go, but after an hour or so break, he went right outside where most of them were playing in the snow. Boys are funny.
Today is a family holiday, as all birthdays are, so I thought I'd pop in here for a public declaration of awesomeness.
He's ten. The redhead. Crazy crazy stuff. He was still 3 when I started this blog!
While I guess you could say he is our most challenging child, he is also the one that has taught me the most, pushed and pulled me in directions I didn't know I could go, and made me a better person.
I see the world differently because of my boy.
I see people differently because of my boy.
He is awesome and I am so grateful he is mine.
Hard sometimes? Oh yeah.
Do I worry, stress, get frustrated? Big time.
But overall, he has made me more.
I hope I can be the mom he needs me to be.
My heart breaks regularly for him.
I wish his life was easier.
But when he is happy it is contagious.
I wish you could hear him belly laugh.
Not everyone sees him as I see him, and that's okay.
The time you meet him might not be a good representation of who he is and can be.
But take my word for it, he rocks.
I love him to pieces.
but that's not a horrible thing.
(Oh, and his party was on Saturday, ridiculously detailed party post soon. You knew that was coming.)
The most jumbled post ever: and if you didn't read my previous post - remember I lost all my good shots of this party so you'll have to imagine it with me.
I did have these first two photos uploaded. Here are the invitations. Our little photoshoot turned into these invites, which I think are pretty adorable. The text and info is all in French, so on the back we taped a translation. And the (badly) photoshopped Eiffel Tower in the background fooled many! Hee. Click to see it bigger.
Crafting fail: my tiered treat plate. Bought cheap melamine dishes and dollar store glass bowls and candlesticks. Put them together with the E-6000 glue which everyone says to use.
Adorable? Yes, but Guys? Don't do this. That glue is crazy fumey. And on the directions it says not to be used on anything near food! I made these about a month or so ago and left them in the garage to air. I could still smell it a tiny bit, but no one else could (I'm a super smeller or something). I pinned some fabric scraps around the bottom of the candlestick so no food would touch anywhere near the glue. But I tossed them in the trash after the party. Darn it, these were cute!
They were on our school cubbies, under the paper flowers (pretend the blue one didn't fall), with cookies and candies. I had wanted to take down the beach photos, but Aaron disagreed so the flowers just went on top - worked okay. We brought the girl's bike basket inside, with a baguette, flowers, and her Parisian doll (that she made from a mikodesign kit last year). The vases of flowers were lined up on the table, one jar of flowers was left on the cubbies. *sigh* Trust me, it was cute.
(the rest of the photos from the iPad, mostly post-party)
I didn't want to do the traditional black + pink + poodle scheme, so I just went for lots of colors + some black.
These (big) chocolate pops I made (except there were LOTS!) were standing in floral foam blocks covered with scrapbook paper among the other treats. They were a hit. I'm so pleased they turned out - they made me happy!
The cake plate had the Eiffel Tower cookies (except some in purple as well). At the beginning of the party we told the girls that everyone had to try escargot, and they FREAKED. Until I brought out a dish of snail cookies. Whew! That was pretty funny (and the girl's idea). Except imagine the snail cookies with the shell filled with yellow, too, most of them were.
My mom and I spent Friday morning putting glaze on these cookies. The favors were a set of a Merci cookie, a tower cookie and a snail cookie packaged in cello bags with cute cardstock + washi tape toppers. Oh, and the cookies above are on part of the table runner that ran along the whole table made from extra blocks from the quilt my MIL made for her birthday. I just sewed those extra blocks together in a long row. She's cool to send me the scraps!
Here's the real deal - she is in love with her new quilt, thanks, Nana! And perfect colors for our party.
Another photo from her shoot was framed on the mantel, along with paper Paris cutouts from here. Both buntings were up as well, of course. And little paper mustaches on the boys big photos - they thought that was hilarious!
Our party soundtrack was courtesy of Pandora - the Ye-Ye Radio station was the perfect 60's French girl singer mix. At one point we heard a groovy French hokey-pokey... Weird.
We started with Apples to Apples as guests arrived, then they designed their own party 'hats' (idea from OhHappyDay) with those flowers I made. Pretend I have an awesome photo of them NOT squished and leftover on the floor...
Lunch was then served: croissants, strawberries and grapes, cheeses, chips and nutella. Pink lemonade and cookies of course, too.
Then the girls went nuts with the 'photo booth'. They used the remote for my camera (set on the ottoman) and took turns being photographer. I had made some props (many inspired by OhHappyDay as well) with a marker and posterboard + skewers.
The backdrop: Red, White and Blue.
While my mom and I decorated cookies the day before, my little sister made a ton of crepes for me (anything to get out of cookie decorating, she said*, she still hasn't forgiven me for the 80's ribbon barrette favors). So for 'cake' we had crepes filled with a yummy (made up the recipe as we went) cream cheese/pudding/cool whip mixture and topped with a little melted nutella and whipped cream.
YUM. And PRETTY! On pink square paper plates. Really pretty, actually.
Pretend the basket below is full of the cute cookie bag favors and the 'Bonjour' sign is taped to our door and there are lots of little Paris bodywashes/lotions there...
The nametags were a hit - I found them at Darlybird last year (also where I got the paper flower decorations). My girl was disappointed that the grammar is wrong (?) but they're cute.
So, yeah, I have SOME record of some of the stuff, but not of how it was actually set up, and none of my girl and her friends! boo!
*For the record, we used Ann's suggestion of glaze on the cookies rather than royal icing. Amen to that. The glaze is YUMMY, royal icing usually isn't so much. Very doable, we will definitely be doing this again. At the end we decided that our glaze was a little too thick, and so the wet-on-wet dots and stripes I'd wanted to do really didn't work. But for a first attempt I'm pleased.
Also, Ann pointed me to Cookiecrazie, which is a cool glaze + cookie blog.
Also THIS method of filling decorating bags is the only way to go - it worked so well!