Sunday, November 20, 2011

33 with 3, 3 and under

Yesterday, I turned 33.
Bah. It sounds SO OLD to me. In my head, I'm about 27 and it's still crazy to me that I have 3 children.

Random thoughts that come to mind about all this.

My new favorite number is three. And I've decided to call my kids Maxxellian or maybe just MEI when I need to call all 3 of them at once.

In general, we take turns and swap between looking after the older two and the baby. Ellie goes back and forth from being included in the "older kids" bucket to the "younger kids" bucket.

We're always counting down at bedtime...1 down, 2 to go...2 down, 1 to go...3 down...collapse.

I literally can't do it without any help. I'll take an extra hand (or finger!) anyday.

People say I don't seem as controlling of a mom as they thought I'd be. (That's a compliment, I think?) But I don't think I was really able to not control things until the 3rd. Up until the 2nd, I could still pretty much control how most things were done in my house. Not anymore.

I'm so tired that I walked into the wall while walking around rocking Iann to sleep. I never fell asleep while walking before.

Simplified meals...enough said.

You learn to do 3 things at the same time....yet I'm still not good at multi-tasking.

I get super excited at the chance of going out. Before it was a nice treat, now it's absolutely amazing.

I don't carry as many things with me anymore. I deal with less "stuff". ie. Not each kid gets a cup. We all share from a family water bottle. No more choice between 2-3 different snacks. Now I carry only 1 and if you don't want it, you can be hungry until the next meal.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ellie is 2!

Dear Ellie,

I can't believe you're two years old today! These last couple of months, you literally went from a jibber jabbering baby to a big girl who's having real conversations with whoever will look your way. You are SO stinkin' cute that I can't keep from saying it everyday to your Appa. You show your love for me, your appa, oppa and eh-gee so much through your sweet hugs, words, and silly faces. You do the goofiest things and find everything hilarious. You love to share with those around you. And you also like to make sure everything is in it's place and done the way it's "supposed" to be. You like to try new things with caution and care. The littlest things make you happy. You see life very simply and with so much joy.

You're my special girl and I know mother daughter relationships can be hard but I hope we always have a great relationship. I try my best to give you space to learn and be you and also there for you as much as I can. I hope we have a special bond as the only girls in the family. I pray you know and experience God all the days of your life and love to the fullest.

Love you so much,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ellie's Cow Party

I decided on a cow theme for Ellie's party.

She loves animals so I picked this one cause she was born in the year of the ox (cow), she loves to moo, and cause black & white is fun and easy, especially with touches of pink. And once I found this free stock photography image, I was sold. Not only was it cute, but it reminded me of school. We had a ton of these cute cow stress relievers that said "Cornell University" on them. So much cuter without.

One of my goals for this party was to spend as little as possible and I think I did pretty good. Of course what ended up happening was I had to make as much as I could with myself using whatever I found around the house. I planned everything out a few weeks before the party but I didn't start doing any of the actual prepping until really, the night before. I'll always and forever be a procrastinator.

So ever since Halloween, my kids have been big on dressing up so I naturally figured to make a simple cow costume for the kids. Thought they would enjoy dressing up. I emailed the moms to bring their kids in white, black or neutral shades. I got headbands as favors from some previous parties and glued on some cow ears. For the cow bells, I used my stash of leftover ribbons from gifts to tie 'em on. The actual bells were the only thing I bought. I cut out a ton of cow spots and just taped those on with packing tape. And lastly, I used the ribbon and whatever yarn I had to make tails. I even put them on the kids with these little clips that came from bags of coffee I buy. I was originally going to use safety pins but didn't want to risk poked kiddie butts. I even had the hubs cut out a fence from cardboard boxes so the kids could stand behind and take a pic but that was a FAIL cause only half the kids wanted to dress up and only for a short amount of time. I guess I was asking for too much.

Either way, the kids looked SO friggin' CUTE! I suck at taking pictures when I'm hosting but I got a few of Ellie.

The second activity for the kids was MOOsical Squares. (I seriously have gotten so corny after having had kids.) Used Spotify for the first time. Love it. And the older sibs were the "finalists". Great job to Miss K for beating all the boys!

The last activity was making your own strawberry or chocolate milk. (No pics of this, boo.) I had the kids decorate clear cups with farm themed stickers and they just mixed the powder or syrup into their milk. Yum. I loved choc milk when I was a kid. Went perfect with the cupcakes too.

I didn't have time to bake so the hubs picked up some regular and mini cupcakes from the local Shoprite. I thoroughly cleaned some farm animals we had and stuck them on and voila! Themed cupcakes. Ha ha ha. This was pretty ghetto but cheap and I just love mini cupcakes for kids cause all they eat really is the frosting anyways.

Huge thanks to "Cookie Emo" for her, once again, amazing cookies. Super cute designs, perfect packaging and even the layout. Sweet ending to our cute lil' party.

Decor was basic. I taped cow spots on the wall, made some flower balloons, and hung some more over the food area. I ran out of time so I didn't get to make a Happy Birthday sign. (Sorry Ellie.)

Kids all went home with their cow accessories (if they remembered) along with a white goody bag that had some farm animal stickers, tattoos and a "make your own farm" activity I made from paper, plastic animals, and a Costco cup. Again, ghetto looking but after talking to the moms, the kids seemed super excited to make their farms and that's what mattered.



Oh, forgot to mention food. I tried to think of what went with cows or a farm theme and ended up ordering KFC. With three kids, cooking was out of the question...even grilling. I now need the hubs watching at least one kid SO...we went with original, grilled and crispy chicken, mashed potatoes and coleslaw. I also got family size mac n' cheese from Wholefoods, which was pretty yum. And had some corn, grapes and clementines to add a dose of healthy to the menu.

Can you tell Ellie LOVED it all? She loved the attention, wearing the costume, she inhaled the chicken, the cake and cookies...all of it. She was smiling from the moment she came downstairs from her nap...until she went back up to bed. I think she really felt special so it made me and Gunn SO happy. Made my almost all nighter all worth it. And heck, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy most of it.

happy birthday girl + happy friends + cost efficient = Successful party

One thing I regret...the same thing I always regret. I really need to take the time out to take some good pictures. Probably need a better camera too.
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