I am slowly recovering from what seemed like months of day dreaming and planning my sweet little man’s first birthday party. It’s crazy how fast the day goes after waiting and waiting for the day to arrive. The party, despite being cursed with rain for the second time, was moved indoors. Luckily, this time around we had the space within our new house to accomodate the party inside. I am more than ecstatic to share his party with you, it was so much fun to plan and I have to tell you I was on a pretty strict budget. I was able to DIY a lot of the special details including the dessert table which I wanted to focus 100% of my time on after botching Payton’s. This is why we decided to have the food catered, but after not receiving a few items and running out of time to prepare a few apps (including the hedgehog cheese ball I so desperatly dreamed of) the party had to go on. In the end, it was a great birthday spent with our closest friends and family. We have raised enough money for two surgeries to be donated to Operation Smile. We will continue to raise money until we reach our goal by his cleft surgery anniversary February 1st. For the complete birthday photo album visit my google+ album..
|My friend, Danielle, let me borrow her amazing DIY chalkboard. It was originally by the front door but I was worried with the rain. Don’t you just love my little mushrooms?|
|Homemade Sparkling Apple Cider – perfect for the chilly day.|
|owl goodie bags and handmade Gnome hats for all the guests|
|arrangements and dips.|
|Marshmallow Pumpkin Pops – The Marshmallow Studio. I love my two wee gnomes relaxing in the moss. My neighbor had given them to me the day before the party when we were having a community garage sale.|
|Water bottle labels – made and designed by me.|
|The dessert bar consisted of: marshmallow pops (party favors), mushroom sugar cookies, s’more & pumpkin cupcakes, macrons (vanilla, chocolate & pumpkin), meringue mushrooms, birthday cake, nutter butter “acorn” cookies and m&m’s.|
|paper cupcake toppers c/o – too cute invites
fondant pieces – sugar and stripes co.
|thank you tags c/o – too cute invites|
|the kids painted sugar pumpkins – log seats from my parents backyard.|
|faux bois banner with woodland creatures.|
|gnome hat fun.|
Vendors & Sponsors –
fondant woodland creatures – sugar and stripes co.
pumpkin marshmallow pops – the marshmallow studio
cupcake toppers & thank you tags – too cute invites
beverages – HonestTea
gnome hats – made by my sister
faux bois banners – me
mushroom sugar cookies – me
highchair banner – me
cupcakes & cake – me
meringue mushrooms – me
rag tie banner – me
invites – cherish paperie
vinyl chalkboard – urban walls
photographed by – my friend danielle
it’s safe to say that ms. payton is officially potty trained. we have been down a long road of “training” and when i say that i mean we started right around 18-months, she was doing great and then the lil bro arrived. she wanted to be in diapers like her brother, and honestly, who blames her? my goal for her to be potty trained was my birthday but instead i got it as an anniversary gift.
for us, waiting until she was ready was the key. luckily, her best friend, charlie, just finished potty training a few months ago so she wanted to be like him. the night before we started we took a trip to target to let her pick out the panties she wanted, a package of (princess) tangled. we already had about ten pair at home so adding this large package gave us enough stock to get through accidents. she was so excited to have her own special underwear. the key to potty training is to make sure your child feels special and important. here is what we did to ensure this training stuck forever:
– let your child pick out their own underwear. i had purchased a few packs and she was interested in them for a bit but her picking them out made it more fun.
– payton was over her training potty (we had the ducky potty by fischer price that would sing “woo-hoo!” and then a chime after going. it was great but she out grew it while we tried over the past year) so we got the child seat for our regular toilet. this step made her bathroom seem like her big girl potty. i recommend this.
– create a potty rewards jar. i asked payton what type of candy she wanted in her special potty jar and she chose m&m’s. i bought two large bags of m&m’s and a glass jar from target. we also picked up some dum-dum lollipops.
– one package of pull-ups. i clearly indicated to her that these were only allowed for nap and nighttime. stick to this.
once we had all this ready it was monday and we started our morning as usual, except i took her diaper off forever and we headed to the potty. she went pee-pee and then chose her undies for the day. after breakfast i waited ten minutes and then started asking if she had to go. for the first few times i had to make her go to get used to it. when she would go i would scream, give her a high-five, we would call daddy and she would run to her potty jar to pick out two m&m’s. the first day seems like all your doing is asking, “do you have to go potty?” day two we had a few accidents but it’s going to happen. don’t get mad at them. day three we were out and about. we got to target and headed straight into the bathroom, success! we made it through the store and then met a friend for lunch and she told me she had to go, success again. as each day passed it seemed to get easier. we had created a routine including funny sayings to get the pee-pee to come out. this was exceptionally helpful when she was fighting going. during the week she made a comment that the pee-pee was in her booty so i played off of that and when she was sitting down i would say, pee-pee, where are you? and payton would laugh and say, “it’s in my booty mommy!” well, come out, come out! and as soon as that was finished it would and she would scream with excitement. i truly believe that the reason it worked this time was the excitement. her cousins were cheering her on, which is huge because all she does is talk about them.
the ultimate reward for going both #1 and #2 in the potty is a solo trip to disneyland. my nieces and nephew had the same thing so we are continuing this with payton. it adds to excitement and ultimately more bribing. whatever works, works.
if you are out in public and the potty seems scary like it did to payton make it fun. i would ask her if she wanted me to go first. i wait for her to walk out of the stall before i flush the toilet because the sound was what was so scary. she loves seeing what type of soap they have (color, smell, foam vs. liquid) and the type of towels. it’s all a game.
if you recently potty trained what worked best for you?
for those who live in san diego county or for anyone who follows national news you might remember hearing about the tragic murder of poway’s chelsea king two years ago. chelsea went out to run around lake hodges after school one february afternoon and never returned home. poway, the city in which we reside, is such a close-nit city in the country type of town. we have never felt unsafe but when we learned of chelsea’s disappearance i do not believe there was a soul in this town that did not react. friends and neighbors were on the search team in the lake, people were placing blue ribbons on every tree, mailbox, building, shirt, etc. to hold out hope that she was still alive. that was until john gardner was arrested on suspicion and lead them to chelsea’s body. i cannot drive by the lake without looking at her final resting place without busting out in tears. our cousin, amanda, was in chelsea’s class and i vividly remember their graduation ceremony and how emotional we all were as her brother accepted her diploma. chelsea’s parents, brent and kelly king, have created chelsea’s light foundation, a legislative reform to bring awareness, education and other viable remedies to prevent sexual predators from harming our children.
when my friend janelle asked me if i wanted to run the second annual, finish chelsea’s run | 5k run/walk, i did not hesitate. i was actually sitting in the sprouts parking lot with the kids after a shopping trip as i was pondering the run/walk. could i do it? i had not ran since before payton. i glanced across the parking lot and saw a weathered blue ribbon staring right at me. tears started flowing from my eyes and at the exact moment i knew i had to do it. chelsea was there telling me i could do it. i went home and registered for the race and found myself with tessa and her mom at janelle & nelson’s house this past saturday ready to stand amongst thousands of fellow san diegans ready to finish chelsea’s run. when i picked up my race bib i looked around in complete awe, again tears swelled my eyes and at the moment i was proud to be a san diegan, proud to live in such a great county. her parents welcomed and thanked all of us for supporting their cause and remembering their daughter, providing them strength through the past two years and as they move forward. the race began and we slowly started to jog weaving in and out of our fellow racers. about half way through mile one we came around a corner just about to cross the bridge into balboa park, a band rooting us on playing the olympic theme. tessa and i being silly and then whack! i felt like my right foot hit a speed bump and then gravity pulled me closer to the ground. i skinned both my knees and my right shin pretty bad. i just kept laughing because it was only fitting that i would fall. i kept laughing because it was hilarious, especially in the moment. i shook it off and kept jogging/walking. it wasn’t until we jogged down the on-ramp to the 163 that my hip and my knees really started hurting (hips are still hurting from braydens birth). we were also at an incline but it wouldn’t get worse until jogging up quince street. tessa stayed with me and we crossed the finish line together. while our time wasn’t the best, 43:23, it was our first 5k and neither of us run. after the race we met tessa’s mom, dee, janelle and nelson and headed over to first aid to get me cleaned up. we purchased some sunflowers in honor of chelsea and then headed to breakfast. i am proud of this accomplishment and we have already registered for our next 5k in two weeks!
are you a runner? check out my friend suzanne’s blog. she’s a crazy marathoner, i love reading her journey through each race.