Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" birthday party! {finally...}

I wasn't sure I wanted to do a 3rd birthday party for Abby. Then I got an idea for a theme. Then I searched Pinterest for that theme. Now I'm wishing her birthday wasn't still three months away...

But I got to thinking, did I ever make a post about Abby's 2nd birthday party??

Nope. Oops.

It happened about the same time as my big blog overhaul, plus I was 8 months pregnant, so the big party post never happened.

So here you have it! Nine months later... :-P

Feel free to pin away!

I decided to theme the party around one of Abby's current favorite books -- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. When searching Pinterest, I was surprised by the lack of ideas specific to the book series (see what I did find here). Luckily I figured the kids were too young to really enjoy any structured activities, so I just used some decorating and food ideas.

I've been taking pictures of Abby, in the same corner of the same couch, every month (I stopped at 2 years -- I'll probably just do yearly now). So those had to go up to show how she's grown!

Color-wise, I chose to go with the green, white, and brown of the book as well as pink to make it a little more girly.

The print-out of the book cover I found via Google images. The 5 books were a box set that Abby got for Christmas. I found the mouse for a dollar at a yard sale (that's actually what convinced me to go with this theme!). Add some homemade chocolate chip cookies and a milk station -- and the cake of course, more on that in a minute -- and voila.

We ended up putting ice-filled balloons in the tub to keep the milk cold (from this pin).

"Accent Cookie Dough" font -- printed with dark brown ink, lightly colored in with colored pencil.

Life is Good "Smart Cookie" t-shirt. My one real splurge. :) Although it was big on her then, and fits her well now, so we've gotten lots of use out of it!

Abby had 4 guests at her party -- 3 girls about her age, and a little boy who was 2 months old at the time, the son of my best friend, so they had to come too. :) 

Our only activities were free-play with Playdough, and blowing bubbles outside.

We were SO disappointed in the weather -- for the first weekend in June we were hoping for sunshine and the chance to splash around in the lake. But it was cold and rainy -- in fact I remember it being the last measurable rain for the majority of the summer (2012 was a really bad drought).

Oh and Daddy had to show Abby how to fly the kite she got for her birthday. (shortly after this picture was taken, Abby couldn't hold on any longer and the kite took off. Rocky jumped in the lake up to his knees to save it. What a good Daddy. :)

And finally we had CAKE. This was THE most amazing cake EVER. 

The secret?

Cookie dough (egg-less) in the middle.

(yes I made those photos extra-large so you could drool over them)

Oh my goodness. Everyone raved about it, and for good reason. I found the recipe here, and just used a box mix for the yellow cake. Served it with ice cream. The perfect end to our cookie party!

Now I'm so excited for this year's party -- the kids will actually be old enough for some games and crafts! I can't wait!! (and I promise I'll try to get that recap post up sooner than 9 months later ;-)

Monday, February 18, 2013

1000 Gifts: #51-60

51. Successfully weaning my 6-month-old from the swaddle.
52. Daily routines (especially naptimes!)
53. A 2.5-year-old telling me she needs to go potty (even when nothing ever happens on the toilet... it's a start :)
54. Finding plane tickets for $300 less than the others we'd been looking at the day before.
55. Tax refunds.
56. The opportunity for a week-long vacation with my husband this summer.
57. Pinterest activities that occupy my toddler.
58. Fundraisers at church that allow Rocky and I to enjoy a kid-less, candlelit dinner, and great conversation.
59. Hot showers.
60. Sunshine in Michigan in February.

Click here for more of my gratitude...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I [less than three] my husband

(I know that <3 is supposed to be a heart in the tech-y world, but every time I see it I read it as "less than three"... I must be married to a math teacher or something.)

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blogging to bring you a post dedicated to a link party.

[Rocky's probably gonna kill me... he doesn't know about this...]

Kelly at View Along the Way and others are hosting this crazy Valentines-ish "hey girl" meme. I must not follow the right people on Pinterest, because this was the first time I read about the Ryan Gosling "hey girl" photos. 

I love my husband. He works hard all day teaching high school students, coaches tennis in the fall, leads the music team at church, serves on our church council, and still finds opportunities to serve me and the girls. He'll occupy them while I cook dinner. He'll pick up groceries on his way home from school. He'll put Abby to bed while I rock Ellie. He even enjoys doing dishes...

What a guy. Our 8th anniversary is in May. Happy almost-Valentines-Day, Rock. I don't know what I'd ever do without you...

And if any of you (or your spouses) enjoy math, physics, and astronomy -- he blogs too.

Monday, February 4, 2013

My "flowers"

Aren't they cute?!

Ellie is six months old today! So crazy! She's got 2 teeth, long hair, and every day is stretching her muscles more and more for rolling and trying to crawl. You can read her birth story here (if you like that kind of thing. :) )

What's in a name?

We knew right away what we wanted to name Abby -- even before we found out she was a girl. It was just something we liked the sound of, and when we learned what it meant it was even more special. "Abigail" means father's joy, or delight of the father (think of the Hebrew word for daddy, which is Abba).

Ellie was a little more difficult. We liked the name Ellie, but had a hard time choosing a full name to shorten to it. We tossed around three different names for months -- Rocky and I each liking a different one of the three at different times -- before we settled on Eleanor a couple weeks before she was born. "Eleanor" means light, or bright one.

Did you know that flowers have meanings too? The floral industry really capitalizes on the meanings of flowers, asking what message you're trying to send to whomever you're buying the roses/daisies/lilies for.

I did a little digging, and found a couple of flowers that I think match my "flowers" well. From pioneerthinking.com:

Calendula -- Joy

Buttercup -- Cheerfulness

And of course they're both yellow flowers -- my favorite. :)

Does your name/your kids name(s) have special meanings? Are there any flowers you really like that have a cool meaning?

Happy half-birthday Ellie!!

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