Choo Choo Someone’s Two! Toddler Boy Train Birthday Party

Our sweet Baby C turned two in June! My in laws came in from Minnesota and while a few friends didn’t show up, we had a full house and were able to really celebrate our little dude! I’m so grateful to everyone who did attend, it was so great to see you all!

Things have been very full-on in our house lately – lots of stuff going on for both M and me at work, endless sicknesses for all three of us, house renovations anticipating guests, garden drama, and, and, and. So I wasn’t able to do this up to the level I’d hoped because I was so inspired by this theme.

Our son was given his cousin’s old train table and all the tracks and trains and he is so so into his ‘choo choos’! I ordered some party favors (of hats, bandanas and wooden whistles) for the kiddos and we ordered a big ol’ Subway sandwich. The night before I baked up and decorated cupcakes with my niece and nephew, which is turning into a little tradition that I just love. I hope I continue to be cool enough to bake with!

Woodland Critters 1st Birthday Party

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We celebrated our little dude turning one recently with both sides of our family in town. I knew that I wanted to do a woodland / forest animal theme and fell down a Pinterest rabbit hole. I ordered the most adorable invites and a matching t shirt for the birthday boy from Zazzle and got some sweet foil balloons that were a fox, a raccoon and a hedgehog.
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I knew we’d be hosting guests so I made a 5 layer chocolate cake (and a smaller smash cake) with chocolate buttercream and a half batch of yellow cupcakes with bright red buttercream and froze everything double wrapped in plastic two weeks ahead of time. That way, the day before the party, I just had to defrost everything (leave the cakes in the plastic until completely defrosted!) and decorate.
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Our niece helped me decorate the cakes and because the lions share of the work had already been done, we were able to just hang out and decorate. I read several posts about making a tree stump cake and decided that using tempered chocolate would be the easiest. I bought 60% cacao knowing the cake and buttercream would be sweet sweet sweet. I tempered a whole bag and then spread it out on wax paper and then rolled it out onto wax paper. I rolled it up in a paper towel roll and let it freeze solid. Once it is was solid, I unwrapped it and it broke into curved shards. If I use this technique again, I’d only temper half a bag and spread it thinner as it was fairly difficult to get it to break apart in it’s thickest parts. You can see, it was a hit!
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i see you

I was talking with a group of my smart friends who identify as mothers recently and we were lamenting that no one is telling our stories. I mean, no really is – unless they are selling us bleach or diapers or organic cotton baby bonnets but then, it’s only through uplifting commercials with cute moms and their babies.

To the mama wiping butts and wiping noses and wiping butts again; holding a babe who won’t nap anywhere but your arms, not even in the $120 baby carrier you Primed one sleepless night, I see you.

To the mother who is frustrated with the balancing of work, child care, finding help, asking for help, spinning plates that always feel just a hairsbreadth from toppling over, I see you.

To the mom wiping high chairs down 3 times a day, carefully steaming sweet potatoes into purees, wiping thrown foods up, swearing it isn’t about the broccoli, I see you.

To the parent trying to still be a person, outside of the butt wiping and sleep managing and hair falling out and tantrums and work-doing, I see you.

#ababyiscomyn (our baby shower)

One of my best friends, C, came into town in May to help my sister A and her best friend L, throw us a baby shower. Normally, I’d have also blogged her visit but we didn’t do too too much; some hiking, lots of cooking, crafting and grand conversation having. ❤

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I’m so grateful to them for planning such a great event with a ‘baby is brewing’ theme as a nod to M’s love of beer and my (then) current obsession with tea. My parents were gracious enough to host us, our friends and family. My mom, as always, served up great food and I got to test out a few Pinterest ideas I’d been eyeing for ages.

We were lucky enough to receive several presents to help welcome our little one and I’m so grateful for everything, from practical to pretty. Since I’m writing this after our sweet one made their debut (I’m working on a post for that too!), I can safely say, we’re putting it all to use!

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Maternity Photos!

I know this is WAY freaking late but this blog is our family history too so I want to make sure I’ve recorded this very special moment in our lives.

My little sister’s best friend Lindsay, and basically my second little sister, is a professional photographer and graciously gave us maternity photos as our shower present. I love them so much! We took them on a quiet Sunday morning in the park I walk thru every day, right behind our apartment complex. I will treasure these images of such a special, fleeting time forever.

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i miss you, and yet…

Once you stop writing, it is so, so hard to get started again.

I had to lay off the weekly posts when we first found out I was expecting as they would have weeks and weeks of ‘laid about all weekend, ate Cheerios’. How I was feeling about that time now lives in long forgotten conversations with M and buried in text message threads.

I love this blog. It’s been a record of our lives since we before got engaged, which…is nearly six years. I don’t want it to go anywhere but I’ve no idea how to blog about being pregnant, or being a mama, or my kid for that matter. My tin foil hat is firmly rooted on my head and I know *exactly* how much information someone can glean about you from your online presence. It’s great when it’s for coupons and putting the right media in front of me; but, when it’s about my kid, I get nervous. They haven’t consented to any of it. My personal ‘do I blog this?’ barometer is would I feel comfortable saying the same thing to Matt Lauer on Good Morning America? But for my kid? I just have no idea what they’d feel comfortable spilling to America over their Cheerios.

We live in an incredibly uneven digital world. I’ve seen naked photos of kids I do not know, posted by famous blog parents (and even some via friends of friends on Facebook). In Europe, your data cannot leave the continent and French law now allows for children to sue their parents over images that are shared of them. The world is full of evil, and no matter how locked down you think a iPod or Facebook account is, the fact remains, once it is on the internet, anyone can get it if they want to badly enough.

I don’t want to stop writing but I, swear, the only thing I can talk about this coming baby. So, for now, may heaven have mercy on my friends, subjected to an endless barrage of texts.