Friday, August 29, 2014

High Five for Friday

Today I'm linking up with Lauren and Jennie to share some of my favorite stuff from the past week. 

1) As Grant's "big" birthday present, we (yes, WE) built him a sandbox! I was really nagging Husband about getting it built and filled because I wanted it done before his actual birthday so the kids at his party could play. We got it set up the weekend before but last Friday finally got some sand for it. It rained so the first time Grant really got to play in it was Saturday at his party with his friends.
Take Sunday morning after his party but it's a nice shot of
our handy work :) While playing Grant told me "I love this sandbox!"
2) Saturday we had Grant's birthday party! I love his birthdays and planning his parties. The older he gets the more excited he gets and he was beside himself with excitement waiting for the day to get here. And he had the best day! (More on the party HERE)
The Avengers cake I made him
Me and my sister-in-law, Hollie, having too much fun with
the masks I made for the kids!
3) Monday was Grant's first day of pre-K! Or, as he calls it, "pre-K school". It was a bit bittersweet (because along with pre-K comes instant talk of kindergarten) but he was so excited!

4) Monday night we stayed out too late and went to a Durham Bulls baseball game. We ended up staying the whole game (we were off the next day for Grant's real birthday) and the Bulls won and won their division championship. It was a really fun night (and I discovered my new favorite ballpark treat: an Italian ice topped with frozen custard - life changing!).
Me & Grant in our awesome Yankees jerseys...and
Husband in that crappy White Sox one (hehehe).

5) We took Tuesday off to spend the day with Grant for his actual birthday. He got to pick what we did, he chose the zoo. It was blissfully uncrowded and we had a great day! (P.S. I still haven't fed a giraffe.)

Happy Friday!
Have a great weekend!
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Grant's 4th Birthday Party

On Saturday we had Grant's 4th birthday party! Even though this party was going to be bigger - it was his first party inviting friends from school - I still wanted to have it at the house. Although they're fun, I'm not ready to have his parties somewhere else. We have a lot of family at Grant's parties so it's nice to have everyone at the house so we can all spend time together and they can spend some time with Grant. My anxiety level was at an all time high knowing that other parents would be coming over but I'm still glad it was at the house. We were a bit cramped but I think the party went well and the kids seemed to have a BLAST!

This year was, of course, Avengers themed. There is a surprising lack of Avengers party decorations so I had to make do with what I could find. With the party being more hectic I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do.

There were also some things on the walls you can't see (that are
still currently hanging in my kitchen).
I almost didn't get this because I thought it was cheesy. I'm glad I did
because I needed more Avengers decor AND Grant loved it.
 The cake. It was supposed to be much more impressive and I decided no. I did a lot of DIY for this party (and I enjoyed that, not complaining!) so I figured I could still make a nice cake without spending 20 hours on it - since Grant doesn't eat it anyway. So this is what I ended up with:

Grant declared it "awesome".
A while back I started making some fun Avengers masks from foam using a sewing pattern that someone so kindly posted (you can see some of them HERE). I thought they'd be fun for the kids to wear. Our activity was going to be for the kids to decorate their own capes, I found blank ones on Oriental Trading. Guess what? Sold out. I was super upset about it for a while but I'M SO GLAD THEY DIDN'T HAVE THEM. I ended up finding a way to make capes for all the kids personalized with their first initial and I think they were a hit. I can't imagine all these rambunctious boys sitting still long enough to decorate capes. (I know that almost none of the Avengers wear capes but I couldn't do a superhero party without capes. What boy doesn't love capes?!)

Posing with his cake wearing his cape and one of the Iron Man masks I made.
Being Iron Man (can you tell his favorite Avenger?)
Grant was over the moon about his school friends coming to his party and as soon as the boys started arriving and getting dressed up, it was like a bunch of mini superheroes running around our house. They were having so much fun! I really had no activities planned but that turned out to be fine. They played in Grant's room, the living room - entertaining the adults - and then headed outside to Grant's new sandbox (built by Husband & me for Grant's birthday present).

Dressed up superheroes!
Having so much fun :)
Superheroes like to play in the sand.
At some point it was time for presents and cake. I'm terrible at keeping the flow of a birthday party and was surprised to look at a clock and realize that we were an hour and a half into the party! It goes by so fast.

When there is extra help opening presents, it's very hectic and
hard to keep a list to write thank you notes later!
Telling his friend thank you
The kids loved those thingies.
That wagon for his tractor is going to come in handy
when we build leaf piles this year :)
Cape in action!
And cake. I lit the candles and Grant almost immediately blew them out until I mentioned the birthday song. He said "Yes. Everyone sing happy birthday to me!"

And that was that. We all had cake and ice cream (except Grant, who only wanted ice cream) and then most people had to get going. Grant had such an awesome time with everyone and I'm SO glad his friends from school were able to come!

Hugs goodbye (so freaking cute!)
The rest of the day/night was Grant opening any toy that hadn't already been opened AND entertaining us all with his new whoopee cushion.

No matter the age, boys think farts are funny.
Sunday was a rest day for us, thank goodness. I got to relax at the picnic table with my coffee while Grant enjoyed his sandbox and then some TV and a snack before a nap.

I love this kid!
What an awesome weekend :)

A BIG thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us! Grant was so excited about this party and almost a week later is still talking about how much he loved it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Four Years

Four years old! It happened so fast. This year hit me hard because yesterday was Grant's first day of Pre-K and the Kindergarten/school registration talk has already started. He loves to tell us "One day I'm going to be bigger and go to a new school" and he sounds excited so I have to be excited too. And I am...but it really does seem like 10 minutes ago that we brought him home from the hospital or he crawled for the first time or walked. All that. Cliche, goes by so fast.

But today will be awesome. We're headed to the zoo! Husband and I took the day off for Grant's real birthday and a zoo trip was requested. Tonight he'll get his presents :)

Four Years:

  • The check-up (and Kindergarten shots) are this week so height and weight then. As always...tall, skinny, and nothing but muscle! 

  • Buying clothes for this kid is a chore! He's wearing a 4T right now because it's still shorts season...but I'm not looking forward to finding pants. Thank goodness for adjustable waists! (And can they please stop making so many boys t-shirts that say things like "Heart breaker" or "Stud muffin". Really?)
  • Shoes: 11 or 11.5 depending on the brand

  • Preschooler! His first day was yesterday. 
  • Gets himself dressed in the morning. I lay his clothes out but he does the work. It's a real time saver. But it doesn't always go perfectly. Like the morning he put his undies on over the undies we put on the night before and went to school with two pairs of underpants on (we had no idea until after we got home).

  • Loves to do his flash cards with letters & numbers. The alphabet is no problem but with numbers, he forgets the higher ones. Sometimes I make games out of the flashcards and he really has fun with that.
  • Still working on writing his letters and numbers. He's pretty good with his name but if he's in the wrong mood he acts like he can't even hold a pencil. This coming year we're going to buckle down!
  • Big fan of books! Our night time routine has always included books and he's always loved to be read to. And I've always loved how when it gets quiet in my house and I go looking for what kind of mischief he's gotten himself into, I'll usually find him quietly thumbing through a book. But lately I've heard him thumbing through his books and "reading" aloud his memorized version of the story. I hope he stays a reader.

  • Board games and puzzles! We've got quite a board game collection now and it's so fun to play as a family. Grant is much better at handling a loss and even gets excited for the winner. And we have SO many puzzles! I love watching him figure them out and how proud of himself he is when he finishes without help.
  • Pretty polite. I'd say he's got pretty good manners and he's getting better at not interrupting. We're working on it.
I love this picture so much

  • Pretty good eater! I try to serve vegetables with as many meals as I can and I find that Grant is a good veggie eater. Sauteed squash and zucchini are his favorite! I always have to cook a lot of that because he always wants seconds.
  • Finally a fan of ice cream (that was killing me) and some cookies but still no interest in cake. But I think popsicles are still his #1 favorite treat.

  • Somehow he's become a Star Wars fan. I really have no idea how that happened. We'd never watched those movies with him but he's into it. Husband likes the movies so that's good but I'm not a fan so I'm having to force myself to find interest.
  • Still loves monster trucks, race cars, and Avengers (superheroes) but newer on the list (besides Star Wars) are Transformers and the Ninja Turtles. Also someone got him into Power Rangers. That is the one thing he's into that I wish I could get him away from. Good Lord that is a horrible show!

  • Pretty much thinks Cracker Barrel and Target are two of the best places on Earth.
  • Mr. Independent. He'll hold hands with us out of habit but give him a little freedom and it's "I can walk by myself!"
  • Contrary to that last statement, he is still our little boy. He's so loving and never misses an opportunity to tell us that he loves us or give us hugs and kisses.
  • Finds joy in almost anything. I so love this! He's so happy and full of energy. Even the littlest things we do together are great.

Four years ago I became a mom and my world was turned upside-down in the best way possible. It has passed unbelievably quick but I am so thankful for every moment. This boy. This boy! I am the luckiest Mama in the world because of this boy. I am wowed by him every day, learn from him, am frustrated by him, and overwhelmed by how much I love him and loved I am in return.

Happy 4th birthday to my Grant-man!

Friday, August 15, 2014

High Five for Friday

Today I'm linking up with Lauren and Jennie to share some of my favorite stuff from the past week. Lots of birthday party prep this week!

1) Friday night we went out to dinner after work. Since we met there and had both our vehicles, Husband went home to mow and I took Grant on a few quick errands for his birthday party supplies. He loves shopping for his party and he's actually a really good shopping buddy. It was a good start to our weekend!
Chowing down on a lemon at dinner.
2) Saturday I actually set my alarm to get up for a morning run. I figured I'd turn it off and go back to sleep but I didn't! I got up and did 3 miles! It was my first morning run and I was pretty proud of myself. However, I've tried to do that every morning this week and I did turn off my alarm in favor of more sleep. Baby steps, right?

3) I made more masks for Grant's Avengers party! (Go HERE to see the Iron Man ones.) I know it's way more than we'll need or probably use but they're foam and one sheet can make up to 8 masks so I just kept making them. Husband just rolls his eyes when he sees me doing this stuff but I like to do crafty things and when I see how excited Grant is about the masks it makes it even more fun!
I think these are my favorite!

I can't wait for my elastic to come so he doesn't
have to keep holding them up to his face!
4) We went for a bike ride around the neighborhood! Grant was super excited about it until I pulled out a sleeveless shirt for him to wear. He actually started crying because he hates shirts without sleeves. I find his hatred of them to be hysterical but I shouldn't be surprised given how opinionated he's been - for about a year now - on his wardrobe. But it was hot so I held my ground on the shirt and he got over it.

5) More party prep! I see those personalized Hershey kisses all over Pinterest & Etsy and Hershey kisses are one of Grant's favorite I decided to try to make them! I think they turned out pretty cute. I can't wait to make more with different designs :)

Happy Friday!
Have a great weekend!
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