Saturday, May 2, 2015

4th Birthday Party Weekend...

**Warning - Picture/Video heavy post**

Mimi showed up for Georgia's bday party weekend on Thursday night.  Within 43 seconds of being in the house, Georgia wrapped herself inside of Mimi's scarf and declared, "Take a picture of us, Mama!"  On it...

Presents and cards had been arriving at the house all week long.  Georgia was MOST intrigued by a very special doughnut bag from Auntie Lisa.  It was talked about non-stop all week long!  Who knew a bag could be the source of so much FREE entertainment for several days???

After decorating the house in full Paw Patrol theme mode on Friday night and Saturday morning, we were ready to party with all our buds!

Such a BIG girl!

As always, the party is such a big blur!  17 preschoolers/toddlers/infants and their parents = Craziness.  But, we all had a blast.  The weather didn't cooperate quite as much as we hoped.  No big backyard bash this year, although several people braved the chilly weather to sit on the deck.  Thankfully our neighbors have a big bounce house that they let us borrow, so we blew that up in the basement so the kids had entertainment down there to keep them occupied.  We ordered a bunch of pizza for dinner and chaos ensued as we fed hungry kids and provided them with some sustenance to keep them going for a bit longer!

I was so busy running around that I gave my camera to a few different people and asked them to snap pics and a few friends text me pictures over the next few days.  My friend, Mary, snapped a great picture of Georgia...

After dinner, it was cake time and that bone cake weighed a ton... literally!  Nick struggled to carry it from the counter to the table!

Taking care of business!

Not quite sure what to do once she blew out those candles with all those people watching her!

Digging into her own personal cake!

The party continued well into the evening, which led for a late night of cleaning up.  Thankfully, I was powered by sangria and the knowledge that I had to get up for a 10K early the next morning (what was I thinking!?!).  Georgia was so wiped out that she even completely forgot about that giant pile of gifts in the study... for a short time!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Paw Patrol to the Rescue...

If you're not yet familiar with Nick Jr's Paw Patrol, settle in for a little introduction...

Back in October, Georgia was home from school for the day with a mild fever.  I stayed home with her and did some work while she lounged on the couch and watched some television.  After a few episodes of the regular, I just needed something new, so I opened the OnDemand feature and scrolled through a few things.  Somehow, I settled on Paw Patrol... and the rest is history!  These pups have been her favorite ever since that day.  Shortly thereafter, she declared that she would be having a Paw Patrol themed 4th birthday party and told anyone and everyone about it.  She has been excited about the party for months and has invited everyone we have ever met.

I royally slacked on party planning this year until the week of my spring break when I realized that I needed to kick it into high gear with only a few weeks to go until the big party at our house.  After scrolling through Pinterest, I hit up Party City, which thankfully had a PP section!  Overall, it was relatively easy to find items to go with the Paw Patrol/dog theme (unlike the year of the Bubble Guppies party when no one was selling their stuff yet!) and the rest of the party fell into place after ordering a few more things online.

We got the decorating started on Friday night and by the time Georgia woke up on Saturday morning, party mode was in full effect...

Poster/Pin the badge on Chase game from Party City

D├ęcor - Party City
I made some little food tents/signs using printable pictures from the Nick Jr. website and my home laminator (perks of being a teacher!), as well as some Paw Patrol stickers (found at Target).

1 - Adopt a pup (our take home goodie/doggy bags) for our little friends
2 - Pup treats
3 - Wipe your paws
4 - Pup-corn
5 - Fetch sticks (pretzel rods)
6 - Bones (Scooby-Doo cinnamon graham sticks shaped like bones)
7 - Make a paw print picture frame activity

View of the dining room:

Fire hydrant decoration - Oriental Trading
Dog cups - Oriental Trading
Colored buckets - Party City
Random Paw Patrol toys from Georgia's extension collection
Plates/napkins/utensils - Party City

Our doggy bags/boxes (ordered from Oriental Trading) for our friends contained all sorts of "pup" themed toys and goodies, including:
  • Dog pencils (ordered from Oriental Trading)
  • Paw Patrol erasers (Party City)
  • Paw Patrol tattoos (Party City)
  • Paw Patrol mini-Frisbees (Party City)
  • Polka-dot stuffed animals puppies (ordered from Oriental Trading)
  • Dog stickers (ordered from Oriental Trading)
  • Paw Patrol whistles (Party City)
  • Paw Patrol crayon packs (Party City)

Since Georgia's 1st birthday, I've always ordered water bottle labels for her parties.  This year, I ordered some from Etsy seller Woods Design Studio...

Around the house...

Top L - More toy decorations, including a lunch box and figurines
Lower L - Masks (Party City) and dog noses (Oriental Trading)
Upper R - Make a paw print picture frame activity center
Lower R - Living room is party ready

Foyer paw prints leading to the party (Oriental Trading)

Drink bar, including my favorite sangria recipe

We are so lucky to have a wonderful cake designer living nearby, who has made all of Georgia's birthday cakes.  Each year I email her a photo or two and she comes up with amazing designs and her cakes taste beyond fabulous.  If you're local, definitely give Jancakes a try!  She even delivers and manages to whip up a nut free/dairy free cake for Georgia.

With a few friends added to the top...

The birthday girl gives the stamp of approval...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Big 4...

Four.  Four?!?!?  I can't believe my baby girl is turning 4. 

Yesterday in the yard

Every year on this day, I take a minute and reflect on her dramatic birth and the 7 weeks that followed in the NICU.  Each year, those memories seem to get a little fuzzier and fade further and further away, but the morning of her birth will always stick with me.  The worry.  The panic that my baby was being born 10+ weeks too early.  Praying that they weren't going to have to knock me out during the C-section surgery (and pulling Nick aside to make sure he knew how to properly spell G-E-O-R-G-I-A in case they did and I wasn't conscious for that!!).  How tiny she was when they took her out of my belly - how flat her head was, how blue her eyes were, and how much blonde hair covered not just her head, but her entire body.  Her tiny little ears that weren't quite open all the way yet and how she sounded like a kitten when she cried.  Then her transfer to CNMC and her surgery just a few short days later.  Waiting for her to poop... the whole world waited for this kid to poop!!  Bringing her home in June.  All of those memories are permanently etched into my being.

Yet, here where are 4 years later and the little dynamo that was once nicknamed "Ninja" by the NICU staff is happy, healthy, and a total firecracker.  She's still 100% passionate about anything and everything.  I was in a meeting this week and someone described a student as having "big feelings" and I think that describes Georgia perfectly.  She has BIG FEELINGS - happy, sad, angry, excited, etc.  I'm hoping that 4 brings an end to her three-nager days, but I have a feeling that her personality is quite well set at this point and what we are seeing is not a reflection of her age, but of who she truly is and will continue to become. 

Angel bear... sticking with us since day #1!

She's a leader.  She's a good and loyal friend.  She loves with all of her heart.  She loves the playground and is finally conquering her fear of climbing.  She gets frustrated and pouts when she is scared or doesn't get her way.  She's a fast runner and I can't believe she ever received physical therapy as an infant/toddler.  She still loves her cocoa loco bars and would eat them for every meal if we let her.  She asks "What's next?" after she finishes any task.  She loves to play dress-up and look at herself in the mirror.  Her favorite shows are "Paw Patrol" and "Octonauts."  She loves movie night and a bowl of popcorn.  She loves to go out to lunch or out to dinner to socialize.  Mimi is still her favorite person.  She loves school and is so proud to be able to write her name and a few other words.  Our favorite phrase is "What'd you said?" when she didn't quite hear what you said to her/asked her.  She still loves her bedtime cuddle time with her Daddy every night.  She sleeps with 10,979 stuffed animals, yet she knows instantly if one is missing.  She still licks her blanket when she's sleepy.  She loves the iPad and is better at scrolling through Netflix than most adults I know.  Her favorite color is purple.  She takes after her Mom and instantly takes off her socks once she gets into the house after school.  She's a great helper - watering the plants and feeding KC.  She loves any shoes that blink/flash.  She loves to bake/cook with us in the kitchen.  She loves watermelon.  She loves the pool, the sprinkler, the water table, and anything else having to do with water.  She loves ballet, but especially the outfit!  She loves making snow angels.  She believes that dessert after dinner every night is essential.  She adores her cousins.  She could do somersaults all day long.  She talks non-stop about picking apples... all year long.  She loves to grocery shop and push the mini cart around putting items inside.  She loves to watch videos of herself.  She loves pancakes and waffles.  She can talk from sun-up till sun-down.  Almost every other sentence starts with "Hey Momma" or "Hey Dadddy."   She still tells me that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up.  Giraffes are her favorite animal or a polar bear - it depends on the day!

I'm so grateful for every day with her because it's certainly never boring!

Happy 4th our little peach...

I'll recap later in the week all the happenings from the birthday week!