Thursday, April 26, 2018

Aiden's Hundred Acre Wood Party

I wrote this post way back in November, but never actually posted it, but this theme would be perfect for a spring birthday party so I'm going ahead and sharing it because it was cute and because I want Aiden's third birthday party documented.

When Aiden first watched Winnie the Pooh he laughed so hard at Pooh bear and it made my heart happy because I have always been a huge fan of Pooh bear. So naturally when the time came to think about a party theme for Aiden's third birthday I couldn't resist doing a Hundred Acre Wood party. I had so much fun with all the little details like the pom pom party hats, adding little bees to the yellow lanterns (beehives) and making Pooh parfaits and Aiden loved it all.

I wanted the menu to be simple, but themed of course so here is what I ended up doing. Hundred Acre Wood Menu: Pooh Parfaits (made with yogurt, honey, strawberries, bananas and vanilla wafers), Veggies from Rabbit's Garden, Pig(lets) in a blanket, Pooh Bear Tea Sandwiches (chicken salad and ham salad),

"As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen." -AA Milne.

Monday, April 23, 2018

A Simple Phrase I Never Want to Stop Hearing

I have a few precious minutes while the baby naps to shower and clean up the hot mess that is my kitchen and dining room, so I turn on an episode of Sid the Science Kid for my toddler and head for my bath robe. I haven't washed my hair in three days and I'm tired of wearing my hair in a top knot. My Momlife pants (that I've also been wearing on repeat) have dried playdough on them so I'm basically sprinting to my bathroom when I hear my toddler sweetly say, "Mama, hold you?" (his adorable way of asking me to hold him.) Every ounce of me wants to say "I'll hold you later, buddy Mama has some things to do," but later may never come. The older he gets, the more I want to hold on to the times when he really needs me, the times when he asks me to simply hold him. The day he doesn't ask me to hold him will come soon enough. I probably won't even realize he's stopped asking, it will simply happen.

The days of him being my little boy are so fleeting. Honestly, I get teary eyed even thinking about the day that I'm no longer "needed" by my boys for most everything. It is so exhausting, but so wonderful to be needed.

So when you see me in the same graphic tee and my hair is up in a top knot yet again, please don't judge me. Pre-kids, I used to think to myself, how can a Mom not have time to shower? But maybe there was time, but she simply chose to snuggle with her son instead.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Dear Baby Boy {A letter written to you on the night before your first birthday}

My sweet boy,
Tonight I put you in the same pajamas your brother wore the night before he turned one, we read all your favorite books and you laughed on cue at all of your favorite parts. I nursed you and then rocked you in my arms. Usually you fall asleep in my arms, but tonight you didn't. I looked down at you curled up on my chest and thought how big you looked in my arms and wondered where my little tiny newborn went. I was just starting to shed a few tears thinking about how quickly you were growing up and then out of nowhere, you started patting my shoulder. It's like you knew I needed that. So I prayed over you, put you in your bed with your puppy and pat your bottom a few times. Then I slipped out of your room.

I have felt very connected with you since the moment I first felt you kick. When you were laid on my chest, you knew just what to do. You found my finger and wrapped your tiny hand around it..then of course you wanted to eat, but first you wanted to simply hold my hand and get as close to me as possible.

You have such a sweet and thoughtful side of you. You are always "pat, pat, patting" things and laughing. And the way you put your head on my shoulder and snuggle with me makes me melt. The other day your brother had a sleepover with your Grandma and we got some time just the two of us. We took a bath together and then went for a walk around the neighborhood and it was so peaceful. You were so content just looking around and I just started thinking about how you have always simply gone with the flow of our lives, whether it's at our house with your brother running around (and not ever napping) or out to eat at a restaurant during your nap time. You simply go with the flow. You enjoy routines and know exactly what you want, but you are also laid back and content. Basically you are the perfect mix.

I love how much you continue to love your Mama and I hope you know how incredibly loved and treasured you are. You are strong and mighty and oh so determined. I pray often that God uses your strength and determination for His glory and that we find the best possible ways to help you learn to use your gifts.

I am definitely your safe place and like one of your books says, you are my wild.

You always seem to get in to the things you shouldn't like cords and outlets and the cat food dish. You love living on the edge (literally) and are always wanting to be held up so you can stand on the window ledge and see outside. You study things and watch us intently like you are soaking everything in. You grab all the remotes and knock down all the things on every single shelf.
You have the most infectious smile, the most fun laugh and we are all just so crazy about you. A year with you has gone by so fast, but I have loved every single second. I know God has big plans for you sweet boy and I can't wait to see them unfold.

I love you more than I can ever say in words. Happy birthday little love.
Love, Your Mama

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Moon Dough Recipe + Space Sensory Box for Kids

For Aiden's Valentine gift this year, we gave him an astronaut costume because he loves pretending to blast off in to space and is always turning things into rocket ships. So this sensory box was inspired by his Valentine's day know because I love him to the moon.

This sensory box was so much fun to put together and my toddler helped me with every step so he was very involved with the whole process. We started by making Moon dough.
This only requires two ingredients, 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil. Mix them in a bowl and then stir and mix with your hands until it starts clumping together like sand.

Once we had our moon dough made we added it to our plastic box. This one is from Target, but any plastic box with a lid will do (so you can save the moon dough to play again another day).
We added glow in the dark stars around the sides of our plastic box to make it more space-like and then added our space figurines. This activity kept Aiden busy for at least an hour and if you are looking for some fun books to read that have to do with the moon and space, our favorites are pictured below.

Suggested items for Moon Sensory Box:
Plastic box with lid
Moon dough
Glow in the dark stars
Space figurines

Also, I post a lot of random activities for littles on Instagram (#nestfulofactivities) and in my Insta stories if you want to follow me, click on over here.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Alder's Lumberjack First Birthday

When I was trying to think of a party theme for Alder's first birthday, I wanted it to be something appropriate for the weather (COLD), something that made me think of him (he is strong and tough) and something that I wouldn't break the bank on. I have a lot of woodsy items and I love buffalo check, so the lumberjack theme was an easy choice. I also knew we could wear matching flannel so that was a big time plus as this Mama  L-O-V-E-S matching. So here's a look at our day...
Alder's flannel shirt is from Fayfaire
For food, I kept it simple (or as simple as you can when cooking for 30 people) and had BBQ chicken (that I pre-made and then froze), macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, chips and fruit and veggie trays. I had to play up the flannel so I made a very punny sign to put on the food table. I just couldn't help myself.

Free water bottle label printables found here
I decided to make as much of the food as possible myself (or with the help of sweet family members) so the cupcakes were homemade (recipe on the Hershey's cocoa box) and so was the icing. We went with a marshmallow icing to make the cupcakes SMORE themed and added a piece of chocolate and a piece of Graham cracker so that people could use their graham cracker to scoop some of the extra icing up. And my husband did the torching job on the icing to make them look like toasted marshmallows. I love how they turned out and they tasted delicious too. I made Alder's smash cake myself using the same Healthy Smash cake recipe I used for Aiden. 

I didn't go crazy with decorations and tried to spend as little as possible, but still incorporate some fun elements. I bought a paper pack from Hobby Lobby of all flannel papers and used the paper to make Alder's monthly banner. I also added some of the flannel paper to the top of a few mason jars that I filled with rounds of wood and then I used a paper punch to punch out circles for another banner, which I used on the tables. Add a few tree stumps, pictures and pinecones and that about did it. I'll link a few of the other buffalo check items at the bottom if you are interested.

It was a busy day, filled with lots of loading and unloading the car, but seeing so many people who love us and love this boy and who have been a huge support during his first year of life made it all worth it.

It was a very sweet day, but to be honest I am looking forward to not planning another kid's birthday party any time soon. Haha. Are you a big party planner or would you rather save the money and just do something simple?