Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Princess Party!

When I asked Madelyn what kind of party she wanted for her third birthday she did not hesitate at all - she wanted a princess party.  The upside - it is a very popular birthday party theme.  The downside - she wanted to have both girls and boys and a princess party isn't completely gender neutral...what are you going to do :)

We had 5 of Madelyn's friends (and their escorts!) for the party, along with both sets of Madelyn's grandparents.  It was so special for her to have Grandpa, Grandma, Mommom, and Poppop all here to celebrate with her.

For the decor I got a few ideas on pinterest, and here is what I ended up doing:

I used silver posterboard to make a castle turret and then positioned our dining room table acting as a gift table in front of it.  I needed to get the dining room table out of the way to make room for a kids table. 

I had crowns for all the adults to wear :)  They were all good sports!
In the dining room I borrowed a kids table from church and then used a foam castle to make a centerpiece along with lots of foam stickers for the kids to decorate it.  I also draped the ceiling of the dining room in 5 different colors of tulle which created a canopy on the ceiling.

The place for each of the kids also had a crown that my mom made for each of them, along with little foam castles we had cut out for them to decorate as well as the one in the center.  There were also necklaces they could wear with their crowns.

On our door coming in, Poppop created a Coat of Arms for Madelyn (I had no idea he was so artistic!).  It included her all important cowboy boots and the tutu she got for her birthday :)
For food we ordered pizza (per the request of the birthday girl) but I also wanted to have fruit and found this great idea for fruit wands on pinterest.  Grandma and Mommom worked very hard the morning of the party to get these looking fabulous!

Instead of a cake, this year I picked up mini cupcakes from the Sweet Retreat (the same place I got Madelyn's teapot cake last year).  There were Choczilla, Vanilla Princess, and Salted Caramel.  They were all really good, but I think the salted caramel won the day with the adults.

Another idea I had gotten from Pinterest was to use little bracelets as the napkin rings and then let the kids take home the bracelets as favors.  I thought they turned out really cute!

I was a little worried about having 6 children hanging out, even though parents would be there as well, but the kids all got along really well and had a good time playing together.  Madelyn had a fantastic time at her party and has told me many times since then that she would like it to be her birthday again :)   Here are a few party pics of the kids enjoying the day.

Madelyn never lacked for assistance in opening gifts
All of the kids took decorating their castles very seriously

Cowboy hats definitely go with tutus!

Update:  I added some pictures my friend Elise (check out her blog) took at the party :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Another Overdue Update: 3 Years Old!

I have been terrible at getting these updates done on time.  In my defense (albeit not a great one) our laptop was on the fritz for a long time, and then we were in midst of planning and executing Madelyn's Princess Party, Easter, the kids wedding debut, and then...well after that I run out of excuses.

On March 30 Madelyn turned 3!

Madelyn's 3 Year Stats:
Height: 37 5/8 inches (50th-75th percentile)
Weight: 32 lbs (50th-75th percentile)

Over the last year we have watched Madelyn make the transition from toddler to preschooler (even if she hasn't started preschool yet).  She is able to play by herself and she lets her imagination run wild.  She loves to play with her dolls, have tea parties with Grandma, build things with legos and duplos, and most importantly "pack" any bag, backpack, or box that she can get her hands on so that she can be prepared for a "trip" of some kind.

At the hospital
4 Weeks Old
8 weeks old
Madelyn's language now involves complex ideas and sentences, often stringing together 10-12 words or more.  She tells us stories with a beginning, a middle, and an end that make sense in the order that she tells them.  For instance, this past week at Sunday School they learned about the shipwreck that Paul was in and she wanted to show us the pictures on her paper.  She told us that the people were on a ship but then there was a big storm and the ship sank, and the people were swimming, but then they held on to pieces of the boat until they floated to shore.  Even without reading the back of the paper we were able to make a pretty good guess at what story she was telling (although that seemed like a pretty high level story for preschool Sunday School).
6 Months Old
9 Months Old

Tantrums, although becoming less frequent in general, are definitely more intense when she has them.  It seems that Madelyn's emotions run very near the surface and she hasn't gotten the hang of how to deal with them yet.
1 Year Old (1st annual Birthday zoo day)

13 Months Old
18 Months Old (first international trip!)

Madelyn LOVES her little brother and wants to be a part of everything that we do with him.  She likes to help during diaper changes and baths, she is always happy to get him his pacifier, and she wants him to play with her or at least be with her when she plays. In the future, when the last thing Madelyn wants is to have her little brother tagging along, we'll have to remind her of how much she wanted him to be playing with her!

2 Years Old - 2nd annual Birthday zoo day :)
Who can forget what happened last year at the zoo...

Madelyn is an adventurous eater, but has become much less adventurous in other things.  Perhaps because her imagination is more vivid now she worries more about things that she does.  It has been an amazing year of watching her grow and change, and it is hard to imagine how different she will be in another year.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Better Late Than Never - Evan's 6 (and 7) month updates

Justin and I finally got our laptop fixed (woo-hoo) so now it doesn't take me 20 minutes to open a web browser.  I am hoping that this will make me more likely to blog...we'll see :)

6 Month Stats:
Weight: 16 lbs 1 oz (25-50%)
Height: 27 inches (50-75%)
Head Circumference: 16.5 inches (10-25%)

Evan is already 7 months old!  His personality is really starting to show.  He is still very affectionate and loves attention, particularly from his big sister.  Although he loves his jumper and likes his bouncy seat, he would still prefer to be held above all else.

Evan's hand/eye coordination is getting much better.  He can consistently put things in his mouth, and even exchange things between hands.  He is also reaching for things, and people, much more consistently.  Although he still prefers to stand, Evan is starting to take an interest in the sitting position, and will sit independently for sometimes minutes at a time, but he is still very likely to fling himself forwards, backwards, or sideways, so he definitely needs someone very close by.

Evan started his voyage to eating solid foods after Madelyn's birthday party on March 30, and he was an instant fan.  We have not yet found anything he flat out refuses to eat, although green vegetables do take more coaxing.  He has had cereal, bananas, peaches, apples, pears, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, and prunes.  He is very enthusiastic any time he can have solid foods :)
first cereal

Faster Mommy!
Another first - after what has seemed like forever, one of Evan's bottom front teeth has finally broken through this week.  Maybe sleep filled nights are in his future?

On the sleeping front, things have not been going all that well still, although I am hoping that the current trend towards sleeping longer stretches is going to continue.  Evan is still up several times at night, and usually wants to eat although can sometimes be pacified back to sleep without being fed.

Evan pretty much constantly makes noise of some kind or another, and usually at a high volume.  When he is sleeping the house seems very quiet, which is saying something since there is still usually an awake 3 year old making noise.

Evan has brought a lot of joy to our lives (if not a lot of sleep) and we are looking forward to seeing what the next weeks and months hold for us!