Friday, July 29, 2011

How To Get Away...

How to get away for 24 hours with your girlfriends...
Plan way in advance...when you and your friends all have families, scheduling time away overnight can be quite a challenge!
Decide on a destination and use a website, such as Trip Advisor to find a place to stay.
Preferably with a great pool, poolside service, and live music;)
Take advantage of as many photo ops as possible.
Bring lots of goodies.
Find a great place to have dinner out, ie. Breakaway Cafe in Sonoma, CA.
Take advantage of the specials, such as $5 Margarita and Fish Taco Fridays. Yum!
Listen to music and jump on the beds...afterall, it is girl time...and there are no children around. When's the last time you really jumped on the bed?!?!
Bring a really fantastic dessert to share, like Pineapple Coconut Strawberry Shortcake.
Stay up late into the night.
Girl Talk.
Oh, and Tropical Jelly Belly's. *sigh*
Find a great Cafe for coffee and pastries the next're going to need that coffee!
(Or if you're like my friend, Heidi, you may prefer a coke from the local 7-11!)
Plan early in the day and grab the best poolside spot to spend the day. This cabana was awesome! We all could fit in it! (Too bad most of us thought it was shaded enough to not use sunscreen. Don't get burned!)
Bring a big fun beachy hat!
Save some money and make your own Pina Coladas.
Mmmm...more yummies!
Pool time complete with a hand-stand! What the heck...get your hair wet!
Most what YOU want to do. As moms, we so often are "doing" for someone else.
And lastly...hope that when you arrive home, you find your hubby doing something really special for you with your kids.
Like washing your car. Love this.

Now start your planning!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's a Beach Party!

OK, so maybe not quite a Beach Party...but as close to it as we can get without leaving the house!
Setup: Beach balls. Lots and lots of beach balls. Everywhere.
"Goody bags:" Sand buckets, shovel, splash ball, sand mold, gold fish, and Swedish fish.
Note: Our house consists of mostly house...not much yard. This is a constant problem for us when entertaining, so we have to make the most out of every square foot of our yard...and boy did we for this party.
As many pools as we could fit in the backyard, complete with a clothesline for towels and wet stuff...
Side "yard": Sand play
Beach cupcakes
Connor's Birthday Book
Front driveway...oh yeah! Bounce House!
Enjoyed by ALL... parents and children!
We borrowed a friend's ping pong table for the garage. (This went great...until it was dropped while unloading it back at their house:( So sad. And embarrassing. Jeff is figuring out how to fix it.)
We left the big garage door open, the door into the house, and the back door open, so everything felt really open. (And kids could go wherever they wanted.)
The kids had fun both on "land"
and "sea."
Some watched.
And some dove right in!
We kept the food simple with hot dogs, mac salad and watermelon. Topped off with the cupcakes(made by my MIL.) Yum!
Connor and his"Girlfriend."
The party finished up with a little cuddle time...
Overall, I think we all had a really fun time. And a really great night's sleep!
OK, really...that's the last of the birthday posts!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Connor's 5!

Well, Buddy, you finally made it! You're 5!
Here's how we spent the day...
Daddy had to work and I was very consumed with getting ready for your party the next day, but we still managed to have some fun!
The day started with your choice of breakfast on the "You are special today" plate. Yes, you like ketchup all over your egg breakfast;)
We had a low key morning but finally headed out after lunch. We had a birthday coupon from Barnes & Noble for a free picked Carrot cake. Yum. We also picked out a birthday book for you. (Every year we buy a book that goes along with the theme of your party. We use it as a sort of a guest book to remember who shared the day with us.)
Then we headed up with some family to Tilden Park for a train ride, in true Connor birthday fashion!
Before heading home Dominic wanted to go to Target. We went to the Lego isle and he let you pick out a Lego set for your gift from him. So. Sweet!
We told you you could pick anywhere you wanted to go for your special birthday dinner. You chose McDonald's. It felt very strange being at McDonald's for a birthday dinner! But that's what you wanted!
And they had a Play Space, which I normally don't let you guys play on. (I have sort of a phobia of these types of things. Yuck!) But it was your birthday...and you really wanted to play. Who am I to deprive a 5 year old of some extra fun on his birthday?!?! (We did use lots of antibacterial wipes afterward!)
Emma Kate has recently discovered ketchup. She really enjoyed herself as well!
The rest of the day was spent blowing up these beach balls for your "Beach Party." They literally were all over the house!
Honey, I hope you had a fun day! It is so hard to get ready for a big party and still make sure we have fun on your actual birthday. I love you so much and can't believe you're 5 already!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Connor!

Dear Connor,
5 Years ago today, after a long night...and day of labor, on the hottest day of the year, you entered our lives! I had been having some false labor for a couple of days. I was due on July 21st, which was a Friday. My last day of work was exactly 1 week prior to this. We celebrated with Skipolini's Prego Pizza and then went to see one of the Pirates of the Carribean movies, in which I had horrible indigestion and barely made it through. It was the longest movie of my life! I spent a week of crazy nesting and preparing after that. Finally on Saturday afternoon (the 22nd) we went for a walk at a dog park along the water. Let's just say that it's a pretty darn good workout for a 40+ week pregnant woman! Afterward we met Bunga and Papa at Chevy's for dinner. At this point I was having some regular 9:00 that evening as I was lying in bed watching Erin Brokovich on TV, I realized that this was the real thing...we were going to have our Connor! All night long every 15 minutes I was reminded that you were on your way. The next morning after waking and realizing that my water was leaking, we called in to the hospital for the invite to come on in. We got things around the house wrapped up, Daddy went with Dominic to get donuts, and then we headed out, stopping first to drop Dominic and Libby off at Bunga and Papa's house.
We got to the hospital about 9:30 am on Sunday morning. I labored a LONG time without any drugs...but thanks to a voice of reason (Heidi!) I called for some relief...and oh my goodness! What relief it was! I think this was about 3 in the afternoon. Nana, Papa, Dominic, Bunga, Papa, Rose, and Heidi were all there to support us through the day. Finally after some pushing and much awaiting, you arrived at 5:19 pm weighing in at 9 lbs, 14oz and 19 1/2 inches long! Bald and full of chub! Dominic got to give you your first bath there in the hospital as he inspected his new little brother.
I cannot tell you what joy you have brought to our world! You are full of such an infectious energy I cannot even begin to explain. Since you were little you have had an amazingly high pain tolerance level, which is probably a good are always falling off of something, or down something! You are willing to try almost anything...whether it be a new food or a new activity. You don't however, like Halloween decorations. And it always takes you a while to get used to Christmas decorations, considering they come immediately after Halloween these days. You are afraid of the top level of the are afraid you are going to fall through to the bottom somehow. You aren't afraid of anyone however. You will talk to anyone who is willing to listen...and will take hold of their hand as you do so. We have had many a talk about how dangerous this is and how we need to be more cautious. (It's so sad to me that we need to have these types of conversations.) You love with your whole heart and body and you give the best hugs of anyone I have ever met!
Another thing you love is...well...trains! You have adapted your daddy's love for trains...hmmm nature or nurture?!?! Probably both. Nonetheless you and Daddy are always looking at them, riding them, or reading about them. You know many technical parts and can look at a steam engine and tell me what kind it is.
So it was only fitting that your 1st birthday be a train party. Here you are on that fun, fun day having cake and ice cream for the first time...
(Those blue eyes of yours are so crystal clear!)
2 Years Old:
And 3...
Last year at Number 4...
There's somethin' about a momma and her boys...a relationship like no other. Connor, I still remember the day I found out I was pregnant with you and the disbelief that God not only blessed me with one child, but now 2. I remember the feeling of heavy responsibility on my shoulders to, alongside your daddy, raise you to be a wonderful and amazing man someday. And even though I cannot protect you from all the hurt that life can bring (though I would take it all in an instant) I can love you and always always be there for you even when you don't want me to be...and when you do.
Thank you for coming into my life and reminding me that I so still have a silly side...
And boy do you bring it out in me:)
I love the time we spend reading stories, playing trains...yes I do play trains, and baking. And I even love that you come out at bedtime several times every night because you miss Mommy. (Though I would never admit this to you at the time!)
I love seeing you change year after year and look forward to seeing what the Lord has planned for you.

I love you Connor, Bugs, My Buddy!
Happy 5th Birthday!