Friday, July 23, 2010

Our First Harvest

It’s official! We are farmers! We had our first tomato and cucumber from our garden, and let me tell you how excited we are over here! My 4-year-old (ugh, that pains me to say...) and I were out in the yard the other day and I was showing her the cucumber that was fully grown, and some little zucchini and little cucumbers that are not ready to pick yet. All of a sudden she starts squealing with excitement, “A RED TOMATO!! Look Mommy, a red tomato!! Can I pick it??” I let her gently pick the tomato (so as not to disturb the green tomatoes that are still growing) and we picked the cucumber and took our harvest in to the kitchen. As I mentioned in my first post about our garden, we did not have big expectations since this is our first attempt at vegetable gardening, but we considered this an “adventure.” What fun to see a return on our work – it’s a wonderful opportunity to try and introduce our girls to new veggies that they may not normally be interested (my 9-year-old did try the tomato – still not a fan, but she tried it, which was a big step!). It is also a wonderful learning experience to see that food doesn’t just magically appear in the fridge or on the shelf at the grocery store – someone puts in an effort to grow the food that we eat!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday!

Happy 4th birthday to my sweet girl! She is all tucked into her bed after a long day spent in the car -- not the best way to spend one's birthday, but (as you can see by my last post) we've been celebrating all week! We just got home from a short vacation to New Hampshire to visit family and we had a wonderful trip full of swimming, relaxation, and lots of laughs! Last night we had a second birthday party for our girl with a pink-frosted cake made with love by her older sister and her great-auntie Sandra. We celebrated my sweet girl's birthday which is today, and my uncle's birthday which is on Tuesday. We just got in a couple of hours ago, but I couldn't let my girl's birthday go by without posting to let her know how much she is loved and how blessed we are to have her in our lives!

Happy birthday, Kiki!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Princess & The Frog Birthday Party

Today we celebrated my sweet baby's 4th birthday! (UGH...) It's SO painful to me that she is already 4 years old (well, officially in one week) -- honestly, it feels like just yesterday she was a little tiny baby -- time goes by too fast when you have kids! But enough of that! We had a beautiful day for a pool party -- Disney "Princess & the Frog" pool party to be exact! Last year she chose to have a Disney princess party (and I chose for it to be a pool party, because she has a summer birthday, and we have a pool!), and this year she wanted a "Tiana" birthday party.

When we were in NYC a couple of weeks ago she picked out a princess hat and dress, which she wore to the party today. What a cutie (if I do say so myself!)! The dress and the princess hat actually reminded me of the little princess outfit that Tiana's friend wears as a little girl listening to the story of the princess and the frog, in the beginning of the movie. My elder daughter said tonight that she thought her sister looked more like a "house elf" (Harry Potter fans, anyone?) than a princess, but I told her, "She felt like a princess and that's all that matters!" (Admittedly, the hat should stand up, but it flopped over occasionally -- cute, none the less!)

I had purchased green and purple star garlands and some green and purple curling ribbon and I made little tiaras for the girls to wear at the party. (This is a picture of Great Grandma and my 9-year-old, testing them out while I was making the tiaras Saturday night -- they make great models, don't they?) I picked the purple and green because they went with the colors of the movie, which takes place in New Orleans -- these are also traditional Mardi Gras colors -- through some gold in there and you could wear this for a Mardi Gras party! These are super easy to make and I made some a couple of years ago for my girls to wear for 4th of July, and they were still wearing them this year! The star garland was $.99 each at Factory Card Outlet and the curling ribbon was $1 at the Dollar Tree -- very inexpensive, but a cute, easy favor that most little girls would love!

I also had favor bags that I filled with a few fun things for the girls -- animal crackers (this was a 4-year-old's party -- I didn't want to have too much candy!), party-sized Playdoh -- I think I bought 1 container of 10 for $3.99, which took care of 5 goodie bags and I put 2 containers in each. A package of Princess and the Frog stickers (1 sheet in each bag), some plastic faux-gem rings for the girls to play dress up with, and my favorite -- a little plastic frog toy -- one of those little things on a spring that you push down and a couple of seconds later it pops up. Very cute -- lucked out at Factory Card Outlet and got those for $.25 each.

It ended up being a somewhat small party -- at least, not a lot of kids that were her age -- so, mostly our family and friends were entertained by catching up with each other chatting and, of course, swimming! If there had been more kids, I had planned to do a "duck pond" game, but with plastic frogs -- of course! I'm big on themes, and aside from the princess outfit and the tiaras and favors, I also had the Princess and the Frog cake and some Princess and the Frog paper products. One of my tricks to having a theme party and yet stretching my budget, is to shop wisely and be judicious with the theme items. The character plates, napkins, cups, etc. can really add up quickly and they are frequently sold in smaller sets (like 8) -- so you need to buy more! I was serving munchies and cake, so I wanted to be able to put out small plates and napkins for each part. I bought character plates and napkins for the cake and I bought lavender plates and napkins for the munchies. Sometimes I'll just get character plates and a complementary solid color napkin -- and always check the dollar stores, because sometimes you can find your plates or napkins there!

At first, I was disappointed that Factory Card Outlet (the closet party store to us) ran out of Princess and the Frog mylar balloons between Thurs night and today, but in the end, it saved me some money although I would have bought 2 or 3 at the most and rounded it out with (again) complementary solid color latex balloons. Instead, I just ordered the latex balloons. I spent $9.99 on a dozen -- on occasion in the past, I have purchased my own helium tank which you can get at the party stores or warehouse stores for around $19 - $24. This is a great deal IF you want/need a lot of balloons or, if you are having multiple parties around the same time. But, don't expect to buy the tank to use once this year and once next year -- it never holds the helium that long!

All in all it was a great day and aside from being overtired at the end of the day, I think my girl had a wonderful time with her family and friends!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Watch that Slang!

So, we're lying low today -- Daddy is home sick from work and he and our eldest went to the doctor's this morning. He has a virus and she has, as we suspected, "swimmer's ear!" My little girlie and I are trying to stay healthy (although, obviously, swimmer's ear is not contagious...) and she was asking me what was wrong with Daddy. I said, "Well, his throat is sore and he has a little bug, he's a little sick today." About an hour or two later, she said to Daddy, "I'm sorry you don't feel good, Daddy! Mommy said you have a fly in you!" Apparently I need to be more specific and watch the slang! Gotta love hearing things from a child's perspective!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend with friends and family -- we sure did!

Happy 4th of July!