An “Out of This World” birthday party: Cole turns 2!

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Last year Cole was a very hungry caterpillar and this year he was a space explorer! I’m a sucker for a theme party, so my son’s birthday parties are the perfect opportunity get a little crafty and have some fun. Since Cole starting talking it’s been all about the moon. Practically every night he’s running from window to window shouting, “Moon, where are youuuu?” and “Moon! Big moon!” So I’ve known for a while now that I wanted to do an outer space theme party for his birthday. Here are some pictures from the party.

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Guests were greeted at the door.

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Space-themed balloons, garland and decorations everywhere!

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A craft corner for the kids to color and play with stickers. I printed out some coloring worksheets and found the space stickers at Michaels craft store. I hung up their masterpieces after the party 🙂

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The cupcakes were adorable and delicious! We ordered them from Swirl Bake Shop in Merrimack, NH. I’ll be featuring this cupcake shop in a post later on this year, so stay tuned for that!

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Inspired by a post on Divine Party Concepts, I put together a cute bean bag game for the kids. Each bucket represents a planet and they throw the bean bags in, stack the buckets, use the buckets as hats…whatever they felt like doing. Bargain side note: Each pail is a $1 at Dollar Tree!

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A quick search on Pinterest gave me the idea to make rocket ship goody bags out of zip-lock baggies, clothes pins and stickers. We called it “rocket fuel.” Half the bag was filled with chocolate covered cranberries and the other half with cheddar bunnies.

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It was such a fun day and we are so proud of our happy two year old. If you have any cool kids theme party ideas, please share in the comments section below!

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November: 30 Days of Thanks

All month long I’ve been reading and enjoying the spattering of social media updates that give thanks. Friends are taking a moment each day to reflect on what they are thankful for, whether it’s something as small as a hot cup of joe, or as momentous as a healthy newborn. It never ceases to amaze me how a single positive (or negative) thought can cause a domino effect of feelings. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Deepak Chopra: You are not the drop in the ocean, but the ocean in the drop.

In every imaginable circumstance more is accomplished when we are working together as opposed to picking apart our differences. As a social media user, it’s been fascinating to observe the voice contrast between October and November. October felt like one giant shouting match that didn’t accomplish anything but spread havoc across our country. Fear and anger are contagious and spread like venom. On the other side, happy thoughts and reflections are contagious too! I’m not sure who started the “Give Thanks” trend this month, but whoever it was I want to thank you.

With that, I’ll share what I’m thankful for this November as Thanksgiving approaches. I’m thankful to be a stay at home mom. The light that spills from my son’s eyes is my own personal miracle. We all came from the same place and it’s up to us to explore our potential and live every day with the curiosity and zestfulness of life that we started with. It’s hard to access that inner spirit sometimes because we all get bogged down by daily routines and negative people.

I feel a positive shift in the air just by reading these simple, happy Facebook updates. Do you feel it too? Please keep sharing your happy thoughts, November and beyond!

My Very Hungry Caterpillar First Birthday Party

I woke up from my morning nap to the sound of the apartment door opening and closing, opening and closing. “What are mom and dad doing out their?” I wondered, rubbing my eyes. Since I can’t really talk yet I made a few noises and threw Piglet out of my crib. That did the trick. Dad came in, swooped me up, and gave me a squeeze. Out in the kitchen I was sitting in my high-chair enjoying my favorite breakfast of waffles and blueberries when mom walked through the front door. “How’s my birthday boy?” She smiles and blows me a kiss. I smile back and bounce a little in my seat.

After I’m finished eating mom changes me into a caterpillar onesie. I recognize the caterpillar from the book that I always pull down from the bookcase in the room. It’s my favorite because of all the food. I think the caterpillar likes to eat as much as I do! Accept I don’t get stomach aches and have to eat leaves, usually.

The phone rings and after a moment my mom and I are skipping down the hallway and as we turn the corner I see two familiar faces at the door. GG and Mima pass me back and forth, giving my a lot of hugs and kisses. And then it’s time to get down to business, that’s what mom says. In the club room, I see the Very Hungry Caterpillar all over the place! On the walls, on the table and even in the cake. I thought that cake was going to come alive and inch right off the table.

Pretty soon my friends and family arrive at the party. There is so much food to eat and so many toys to play with. We had meatballs, macaroni and cheese, fruit, veggies, and sandwiches. My favorite was the cucumber and strawberry cream cheese sandwiches. Once I had a full belly it was time to play with my friends. I shared all of my toys and we crawled all around the play-mat and through the caterpillar tunnel. Mom even came down with us and read us The Very Hungry Caterpillar book.

The biggest surprise of the day was when mom brought over a cupcake with a candle in it and everyone sang to me. That cupcake was so good! I ate the whole thing and even licked the frosting off of my fingers. I’m not sure why everyone was laughing, but it didn’t bother me. I just kept on digging in. After all, that’s what a hungry caterpillar would do, right?

Mom opened my gifts and I got some really cool things. I have the nicest and coolest friends and family. It was a perfect party and by the end of it…I was ready for another nap! Here are some pictures from my party!

Cole’s 1st birthday

Wow! I am how many fingers old today?!

You woke up this morning with a smile on your face, as usual. Dad brought you into our bedroom singing the Beatles Birthday Song… “they say it’s your birthday!” which we followed up with two verses of the traditional “Happy Birthday to you” song. What a year, Cole! I wish I could freeze you just as you are for a little bit longer. In the past couple of weeks you have really started becoming a little boy, breaking free from your infant cocoon into my handsome little butterfly! You’ve become a chatter box (like your mom) and you make me and your dad laugh all the time when you mimic words we say by repeating the first or second syllable. Duck is “da” and car is “cah” and kitty is “gee” and you love to talk with a mouth full of food. You eat everything that I put in front of you, except for chicken and avocados.  Your favorite meals are waffles with blueberries and vegetable tortellini soup. Your favorite snacks are Annie’s cheddar bunnies, kiwi, and any cracker that you can hold onto and bite your way through.

We’ve had a busy year together. You’ve banged on drums in music class, learned to sign “dog” in sign language class, made lots of friends on baby playdates, used the swing at the playground, swam and took boat rides at the lake, had lunch in Boston, wore a space helmet at the children’s museum, hiked Blue Hills and had plenty of cuddle time with your mom, dad, and the whole family! There is so much love surrounding you each and every day. Our lives are much richer with you in it.

A note from your Dad:

As each day passes I realize how lucky your mom and I are. You are such a special little boy and I can’t wait to share many fun things with you. Thank you for making me smile and putting it all in to perspective.

Love, Dad

Happy First Birthday, Cole!!

Baby’s first Valentine’s Day craft

I’m determined to be crafty now that I’m a mom. What better time to start than Valentine’s Day? Inspired by an image I saw on Pinterest, I ran off to Michael’s craft store to buy supplies. Since Cole is still too young to actively participate in crafts, I knew that footprint art was a perfect way to involve him (and my husband) in homemade Valentine’s Day cards! The picture doesn’t really do it justice, but they came out so cute.

The best part is that they were super easy to make. Here is a list of the supplies I bought from Michaels to make these cards:
– Package of 10 Tiffany blue cards with envelopes
– Heart stamp with inner and outer heart
– Non-Toxic kid’s paint
– Paint brushes and paint sponges
– Black sharpie pen
– Elmers glue pen

– 4×6 pictures of your little one
Here is how I made the card!


First, I used the paint brush and red paint to cover the outer heart in the stamp

Second, I used the stamp to make hearts on all of the cards. I tried out different positions for the hearts and ended up liking the look of the final card that I posted above the best.

Now for the fun part! I used the sponge brush to put red paint on the bottom of Cole’s foot. It must of tickeled him because I got a few giggles out of him in the process.  The footprints came out best when my husband of standing with the baby, his feet parallel to the ground, and I brought the card up to his foot. I did the left footprint on all of the cards, cleaned him off, and then did the right footprint on all of the cards.

I added the quote “From the bottom of my heart…to the tips of my toes” since it seemed fitting next to the footprint art. You can add anything you want! Hmm…I wish I had better handwriting 🙂

Lastly, I glued a picture of Cole in his Valentine’s Day outfit on the back of the card. And DONE! Not too shabby for our first attempt at being crafty. And the best part is that we had some good old fashion family fun making them.

The storm that postponed Halloween

The Saturday before Halloween Greg and I went the Blarney Stone in Dorchester to hang out in our old stomping ground. Plus, it was a good excuse to dress up in costumes, which we do every year. We knew that snow was in the forecast, but figured it couldn’t be that bad. After all it was only October. After a few hours of hanging out in the city we decided to head back to the apartment to relieve Greg’s mom of babysitting duties.

There were some flurries falling when we left the Blarney, but no accumulation…until we drove about 20 minutes south. While dropping a friend off a town over we had to take a detour from the main road because there were trees and power lines down everywhere. The side roads were also a mess, but thankfully there was man dressed in a beaver costume in front of us (remember it’s Halloween) clearing out fallen branches and small trees so we could continue down the street. When we finally made it home about two hours later we found Greg’s mom curled up on the couch using tea lights as the only source of light. I felt awful! She didn’t know where a flashlight was or candles. The phones didn’t work either. Thankfully all of us were safe at home. Side note: We also learned that night that the baby didn’t need the sleep machine on all night in order for him to stay asleep!

The power didn’t come back on in Sharon for another 4 days, and we were the lucky ones! There were many surrounding towns that didn’t get power for a little over a week. Because there was no power, trick-or-treating got postponed for a week in many locations across the state and in New Hampshire. But don’t fret! We still found an occasion to dress Cole up in his Halloween costume. A friend of mine hosted a brunch and all the babies got dressed for the occasion. Cole’s first costume? A dinosaur!