We are a family who enjoys livin' on the edge!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Welcome to Seussville! Part 1

There were some up and downs, lots of smiles, and some tears... But what a wonderful way to celebrate my Little Lady's Third Birthday with friends and family! There is my 'big girl' with her marshmallow pop in her birthday outfit. Yes, she only had one outfit this year. I went with a red and blue petticoat and custom Dr. Seuss shirt from ETSY. The kids LOVED the bubbles! Here is Merritt and her friend Caius, who is a boy {and yes I do need to make that distinction}. They loved running around trying to pop every bubble that flew by them. It's my party and I'll cry if I want to... I will take the blame for this meltdown. Merritt was playing with all her friends when I decided it was time to sing, blow out the candles, and eat cupcakes. Merritt had a different opinion and cried during her birthday song, couldn't decide if she wanted me to hold her or go play, and refused to eat a cupcake {until later}. About 5 minutes later... back to playing. I love this picture with Merritt with her Daycare friends, Trenton, Caius, and Isabel. And of course, Beau was on slide duty {there were some accidents earlier in the day, so he got called into Safety Patrol}. When her friends left, Merritt curled up in Daddy's arms, watched some TV, and enjoyed a cupcake.
Meanwhile, my thoughts began to wonder.... What is the theme for next year?! Time to start planning.

Welcome to Seussville! Part 2

At any party, there has to be fun activities for the guests to do. There was going to be a range of ages from babies to 7 year olds to our adult friends. So my task was how to make sure everyone really enjoys there time at our home.
I put up a 'Photo Booth' for guests to snap a picture with the Cat. I love my cupcake wrappers as garland, adds some fun patterns and textures, I think. I also made a Grinch Toss Game with Cat in the Hat 'hat buckets' and Grinch bean bags. This is the kid version of the adult washer game that was nearby. The Hop on Pop book made me think of bubble popping, so we invested in a bubble machine! I can't even think about all the hot air I will be saved from blowing with this machine. Another tradition that I do around Merritt's birthday is take her handprint or footprint and make an art project out of it. Last year it was a Hula Girl made from her footprint! I spotted the Thing 1 and Thing 2 Handprints Activity from Mailbox Magazine and knew I had to include it. The body, legs, and arms was a little tricky - as you can see, you had to not paint one of the fingers and have the kids spread their fingers to make the bottom half of the Thing {easier said than done}. You can see from the pictures, Merritt has a playscape and play house that the kids can enjoy. Hope everyone had a wonderful time!!

Welcome to Seussville! Part 3

I wanted to turn our backyard into a Dr. Seuss Wonderland. I drew inspiration from Dr. Suess books and the characters within those pages. As guests went into the backyard, was the Happy Birthday to You Dr. Seuss Book and the Party Favors for all the kids. Each year, I find a book that goes with the theme of the birthday party to have guests sign and I use the back pages of the book for a list of the gifts Merritt was given.
The favors were made from tin cans {our dogs eat green beans instead of wet dog food so we saved and washed the cans to use} that I modpodged with pages from the Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Strikes Back. In each can, I put a pencil, crayons, Dr. Seuss mini-book, a book mark, stickers, and a lollipop.
I also used the cans as vases for color flowers that I put throughout the house and with the centerpieces on each table. As a teacher, I had so many Dr. Seuss books to use as decorations. I also had help from my school librarian, who let me check out every Dr. Seuss book that is in our library along with stuffed animals that go along with all the books. I had five tables for guests to sit and eat and talk - each table had a different book as a theme. There was a Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Strikes Back tables. Each had stuffed Cats and Things 1 & 2. There aren't any pictures of these two tables because by the time I got outside, Merritt had already decided she was going hang on tight to these stuffed 'decorations/toys.' Above is the One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Table with a fish jumping out of a fish bowl, a Go Fish Game for guests to play and the book. There was also a Horton Hears a Who Table complete with Pink Fuzzies and an Elephant to show everyone is someone no matter how small {or big}! The Fox in Socks table had the Fox and the book {in my rush the morning of the party.... I forgot the pile of socks the Fox was supposed to sit on... oh well!}. I ordered punch balls instead of balloons from Oriental Trading Company to hang from the trees, they were a lot cheaper and so easy to hang since the punch balls come with rubber bands. I also thought the guests could take them home as part of the favor {and to help with clean up!} but I forgot so they are still in the trees in the backyard.

Welcome to Seussville! Part 4

I had a lot of fun with the food and dessert planning of the Seussville Party! I found so many ideas on blogs that I wanted to try, but with me not knowing how to cook... I had to simplify. Here is the table spread Seuss-fully food! I tried to be creative with the names: One Fish, Two Fish {Goldfish and Swedish Fish}, Green Deviled Eggs and Ham {really bacon sprinkled on top of deviled eggs}, 'You can eat them anywhere Veggie Cups, Fruit from the Truffula Forest, Cheese and Meat Crackers for Chewy Chewing, and Cat in the Hat Marshmallow Pops. And the cupcakes... The stars of the party! I made three cupcakes with themes from The Cat in the Hat {the Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2} and Green Eggs and Ham.
The Cat in the Hat Cupcakes: Chocolate Fudge cupcakes with chocolate icing {I tried to make it look like spiky hair} and for the hat I used a white chocolate bar {I searched all of Austin for white chocolate Reece's Peanut Butter Cups to make the brim, but sadly they are very rare or very popular and are sold out as so as stores get a shipment in} with stacks of Cherry and Mint Life Savers held up by a short lollipop stick.
Thing 1 and Thing 2 Cupcakes: Strawberry cupcakes {I used red food coloring to make the cupcakes as red as possible} and Blue Vanilla icing to make the Things wild hair {Again, the search was on for blue cotton candy but... the same sweet tooths that enjoy white Reece's Peanut Butter Cups bought up all the cotton candy.} I added blue sugar sprinkles to add some wild :)
Green Eggs and Ham: Vanilla cupcakes with green vanilla icing shapes like eggs with yellow M&Ms for the yolks and a Strawberry candy that reminded me of ham. They kind of look like owls to me but at midnight the night before the party, I let it go. {Those of you who know my OCD would know that is a big step for me.} I also had Candy Bar of red, white and blue sweet treats - 'Oh, the Candy we can eat!' and 'Oh, the FUN we had eating!'

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A THREE-rrific Birthday!

Merritt turned 3 today! She amazes me everyday with what a lovely little lady she is becoming and how much joy she has brought into our lives. Beau and I always say, "We can't even remember our life without her in it." A few things about our little lady on this 3-erriffic day... She loves nature, this includes animals, plants, and flowers. She can name almost any animal and she loves to show off what noise the animal makes! Her lion roar will put a smile on anyone's face on the darkest day. She has mastered her numbers 1-20 and we are working on her ABC's. Merritt has loved being read to her whole life, something this teacher/mommy is very proud of but recently because of her bedtime routines, she can now 'read' most of her books. She loves to count and is very organized, her toys, food, and art projects most be 'just so.' Yes, I believe she has some of my OCD tendencies but we are working on teaching her to relax and become more easy-going when things aren't perfect. She is very independent and has been for most of her life. She enjoys playing by herself and pretending with her animals and princess dolls. Her favorite thing to do right now is swing, she could swing for hours {and my arms have never looked better because of it}. She is very loyal to her friends {although she will tattle on them if they are not doing what they are supposed to}. On her birthday we took a trip to Austin Botanical Gardens and Zilker Park. We met her friends Quinn and Leah there - aren't the girls so cute on the butterfly chair! Merritt was excited to see the water gardens and explored the cave near the waterfall. She loved to tell anyone who would listen about the animals that live in the water and all the colors of the flowers she saw. We brought little cakes to celebrate Merritt's birthday with her friends. She had the biggest smile as the girls sang 'Happy Birthday' to her. While waiting to ride the train, we explored the park. She wanted to play on the swings, play on the playscapes, and play on the xylophones at the park. Our final stop was to ride on the Zilker Zephyr train. We enjoyed a strawberry snow cone and the breeze during the ride. My birthday girl had such a great day, she even cuddled up and took a little nap towards the end of the ride!
Happy Birthday to the most amazing daughter ever! I love you more and more each day!

Kemah Lighthouse District

We went to Houston to visit my parents for Easter Weekend. On Saturday we went to nearby Kemah to enjoy the Boardwalk. Our first stop... Food {come on - I am pregnant}! We choose to eat at a buffet so we could all enjoy something different. From the picture above you can see what Merritt enjoyed most! Merritt had so much fun on the Boardwalk! Here is Merritt and my mom with all the boats in the behind them. Merritt's favorite ride is the Carousel! We probably rode it 10 times. Every time we had to get off the ride, she ran right back to the line entrance. We also took some risks {both of us}. Here we are on the cute little airplane ride {btw I don't do well with heights and she didn't like the airplane I had chosen and screamed the whole time}. We strolled down the Boardwalk to watch the pelicans dive into the water, Merritt tried to look through the telescope but kept her eyes closed tight while she did - too cute!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hop to the Easter Egg Hunt!

Our friends Laura and Ayden had a wonderful Easter Egg Hunt Playdate at their house last Friday! Everything was perfect - they are EGG-cellent hosts! Aren't these the cutest cupcakes? The bunny and chick were the kids' take home gifts, along with the hundreds of eggs the Easter Bunny Moms had scattered all over the backyard. When the kids went outside, they were so excited to hunt for the eggs. That is except for Merritt, she was more interested in playing with all of Ayden's toys {Look at those cars! Who wouldn't want to drive around in those cool rides?}. I decided to help Merritt find some eggs when I ran into this mom... Watch out! We were on a mission to collect the most eggs while our children wanted to play with the toy cars {that's her daughter, Marin, on the blue bike}. Here is Merritt and Sienna painting eggs. I love how crafty she is becoming - just like her mommy!

Purplicious Birthday!

Last weekend we celebrated a Cutie's 2 year birthday! Quinn loves Barney, so everything at her party very purple! Merritt loved playing and seeing all of her playgroup friends. I like to call this photo 'Ladies who Lunch' - don't the girls look like they are in deep conversation while enjoying yummy cupcakes! Happy Birthday Quinn!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

EGG-stra Fun Day at the Park!

This afternoon our family went to the park to enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt! We got there a little early because I heard that the Easter Egg Hunt would last about 2 minutes. I am sooo glad we did because as soon as we got there and I turned on my camera... I see the words Battery Exhausted! I looked at my hubby, he took the camera from my hands, and ran off to find batteries. {Reason # 2487 that I love him so much - he understands my obsession about capturing every moment on camera.}
Merritt and I waited very patiently as we waited for the Mayor to announce that the 'Hunt was on!' When I say patiently.... I mean my 3 year old tugged on the caution tape that roped off the 'Egg Zone' and pulling at my bag asking for snacks {I brought my own eggs filled with goldfish and fruit snacks IN CASE she wasn't able to get any eggs/be too scared to get the eggs in fear of to be trampled by 'big kids'}. When the countdown was over, we raced in to collect as many eggs as we could. Merritt was content to open each egg and look inside for the treat {she doesn't have the concept of 'grab and go - look later.' Beau {who obviously made it back with the batteries because there are photos} helped Merritt by doing some hunting of his own, picking up a couple of snack bags and a bunny rubber ducky - SCORE! We met up with our friends the Balagia's afterward to empty their eggs. The girls decorated their daddies with the stickers that came from the hunt and the mommies enjoyed the fact that there were free sonic ice cream cone coupons in some of the eggs - YUM! We also walked over to the nearby playscapes that have been recently renovated. Merritt loved the swings!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Texas Bluebonnets

If it is April and you live in Texas, there is one activity that is must...
taking Texas Bluebonnets pictures. You can see families cross three lanes of traffic in a seconds when they spot the perfect bluebonnet spot!
My wonderful friend, Jen, is an amazing photographer and came for a visit last weekend to do some bluebonnet photo shoots.
Here is the link to her website and Merritt's photo preview:
Happy Spring everyone!