Monday, June 28, 2010

Seriously




Must you bother me?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Only Sunshine

Amelia's been learning songs with ease lately. I just sang this a couple times and she got it!

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And on a side note, I used to sing it to her as a baby ALL the time and I could never get through it without a tear. You'll never know dear, how much I love you. Only a truth known through parenthood.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Amelia’s Colorful Day

 

Exactly a month later, I’m finally posting about Amelia’s 2nd and rainbow themed birthday party. In the way of birthday parties, it was really low-key. There were no rentals, bounce houses, or characters present. Just an easy, fun BBQ where the kids could run around and play to their hearts’ content. Seriously, what else do toddlers really need??

When the party girl woke up that morning, I went to her room and exclaimed, “Happy Birthday Party Day!!” to which Amelia replied, “CAKE!” and began singing the Birthday Song. Something along the lines of “Happy Beeday YOUUUUU.” Then I explained that a lot of friends were coming over to celebrate (with a gentle reminder that we need to share our toys). When I set her down, she ran into the living room and put her hands up in question, “Where did the kids GO?” Oops. Sometimes waiting for the party is the hardest part, naturally.

In any case, it wasn’t long before she was ready to partay—complete with a celebratory outfit to match the day’s theme.

The Honoree

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I dunno. I think she liked it.

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The Food/Deco

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(galvanized buckets with M&Ms and rainbow goldfish and set on various surfaces around the house/yard)

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We had standard BBQ fare with some rainbow-inspired side dishes. Here is the rainbow fruit platter with strawberries, orange slices, pineapple, grapes, blueberries, and blackberries.

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Above is a bowl of the pasta salad components. Rainbow pasta with tomatoes, yellow bells, orange (cheddar) cheese, spinach, blue olives, and salami thrown together with vinaigrette.

DSCN2102The table! In addition to the fruit and pasta salad, there was also a Mexican layer dip (tomatoes, yellow/orange cheeses, green chilis, and blue corn chips), and a rainbow tray of all the BBQ fixins that included red tomatoes, cheddar cheese, yellow pickles, green lettuce, and purple onions. I thought about making blue mayonnaise and then reeled in the insanity and resisted. It turns out that there are only two foods that are naturally blue—berries and corn. Makes for slim pickins in the whole rainbow theme ideas. We managed all the same.

Then there were these little devils.

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They were pretty tough to get a picture of, but jello squares! Made from only the primary colors and layered by the slight melting in between. I found the idea here.

It’s like magic!

Last but not least, there were these.

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Topped with rainbow lollipops, they were pretty cute. . .

But it was the inside that held the best part.

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Please ignore the party-panning paraphernalia lying about.

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I later realized that I forgot to take a picture of the finished product from the inside—with frosting. So this was taken a few days later while on our vacation—you KNOW we took these with us instead of letting them just sit at home! They were really, really good too.

In terms of decorating, I used rainbow table runners/napkins/plates, etc. I filled the rainbow buckets with several boxes of crayons and covered two kiddie tables with butcher paper. I also took solid, brightly colored napkins and folded them into flowers and put them into rainbow order here and there. Lastly, I lined up all the favor buckets (filled with rainbow goldfish in individual packages, rainbow crayon, small beach ball-rainbow of course-, and some other goodies that I can’t remember now) in rainbow order. You can kind of catch a glance here. (With a keen eye, you can see the paper flowers in the cut-outs above the buckets too.)

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The Good Stuff

The party was a fun day and Amelia had a BLAST with all her little friends and fellow party attendees.

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Maya, 1 and just simply gorgeous! And with the most adorable squeaky shoes that complimented her new walking skills to perfection.

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Baby Jordyn and Mama Ann—preciousness

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Beck. Neighbor. Party-goer. Friend.

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Mom and Scott catching up. It’s been a while, but there was a summer, in 1998, that these two spent a lot of time together and he called her Mom.

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Uncle Rich and his GF Heather.

There were a lot of other people there, but catching pictures of everyone was a difficult task with 10 baby-children about.

The Birthday Girl

Amelia had the best time. Maybe I’ve already said that, but she really, really did! She completely understood that it was HER birthday and that the party was in her honor and with her friends. She fully enjoyed herself, that’s for sure.

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Very slyly saying “peace!” from the confines of her new compound—where she spent most of the day, taking kids in and providing tours.

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Presents!

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Handmade Raggedy Ann from Grammy!

My favorite moment of the whole day was when we sang Amelia the birthday song. Her and I have been practicing that song for a while, so she knows the words and always throws someone else’s name in there. Then when the cupcake was in front of her and everyone started singing, she just looked around at all the eyes on her . . .

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and got this teeny, tiny, quiet little grin on her face in complete and total (but subtle and guarded) joy.

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Then she blew out the candles by herself . . .

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and dove right in!

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Rainbow cupcakes are AWESOME!

Then she managed to leave a rainbow trail of crumbs all over the yard. But hey, you’re only two once, right?

 

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Serious conversation.

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Oh my.

 

The party was over by 2, Amelia napping by 230, and clean up complete by 330. Leaving for vacation the next day, we moved right into the next function with little time to enjoy the afterglow of a successful bash. But one thing stood out for us as we crashed into bed that night—both Justin and I were so proud of Amelia’s behavior during her party. She was kind and generous in sharing her toys with other kids and sweet-natured amidst the chaos. Even when another child snatched a toy out of her hands (as kids sometimes do), Amelia just kept on her way without so even as a dirty look. She enjoyed the attention without demanding it endlessly and had a perfectly pleasant day. Watching her enjoy herself and realize the joy of birthday fun was so very sweet. I will never forget the look on her face as we sang Happy Birthday to her and she dove into her rainbow cupcake and she ran into the living room awaiting her party. 

My baby is two and knows how to party. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daddyrific

When I first met and began dating Justin, he told me immediately that he couldn't wait to be a father. Even at 21 amidst the dumbass college years, he was very much a husband/dad type in so many ways. It was daunting that he was a father-to-be and I was a professor-to-be trying to find our ways to an intersection. Fast-forward 11 years and he's lived up to my initial instincts about him. He is an amazing daddy. Words like that get thrown around easily I know, but I find myself not only grateful and proud that he's my partner and co-parent but also a bit envious of our daughter, who has the world's greatest dad. Every little girl should have a daddy like Justin. I think women in our society could be a lot better off having their first male influence cut from Justin's cloth. He never has to tell her that she can do anything she wants because he just teaches her instead. He can't wait to throw the football around with her but thinks she is the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. He tells her she's brilliant and expects amazing things from her but expects to cheer for and love her no matter of her chosen path. He will teach her to value and stand up for herself while also giving the hug and wiping the tears. He doesn’t want her to be a princess, but to be independent and strong while also teaching her unconditional love and unending support.

She's a lucky girl, that Amelia.

They make a pretty great pair.

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