catching up through instagrams

at least I document my life somewhere right? even if instagrams is all it is. here’s the last few weeks in review. no pressure for you to actually read through these, it’s more for my documentation than anything else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.library volunteer time 2.this is kim sober?RHBH 3.most uncomfortable waiting room bench ever 4.need this paper cutter in my house 5.crazy driver 6.skylander 7.focus group view 8.choosing books over tv 9.latte 10.bestie breakfast 11.zara kids 12.romeo on the kinder yard 13.first fire station field trip for the little man 14.listening, sort of 15.with zia 16.love me some spray paint 17. orthodontist 18.yogurtland for first time 18.still in bed 19.these two love each other 20.reading 21.facetime before romeo’s bedtime 22.reading ramona the pest 23.peek into greta’s new shelving 24.and another 25.garden prep work 26.work as a team 27.house chore 28.haircut 29.a little boy’s present to me 30.a yellow school bus 31.she has skillzzz 32.red 33.some peeks of our family photo shoot 34.fire pit 35.craft bookmarks at the book swap thanks to tanya 36.the most delicious caramel sauce

last week’s instagrams

Before our trip here’s my Instagrams for the week

1.curly hair 2.no longer for 3 months 3.winter break kids party 4.face painting 5.gunnar’s 10 yr checkup 6.dinner 7.just finished 8.mammoth reading material 9.returned home to find apple’s replacement nano in the mail for our 1st generation recalled one 10.a very bare fridge 11.reuniting with this boy after 5 days.

Winter Celebrations

The kids’ winter celebrations for their classes began with me meticulously planning out months ago how it would all play out. I was going to have Greta’s class party handled by another parent, and then that just left me with Sawyer and Gunnar’s and I figured I would have them on separate days. Piece of cake. Wrong. It just so happened that all 3 of their celebrations fell on the exact same day per the teachers and administration’s decisions. And Greta’s party took me coordinating with the other 3 kinder classes, organizing them for a pizza lunch, and gingerbread house making. I had my mom stand in for me with Greta’s during the gingerbread houses, and then I rushed over to her as soon as I finished the other boys’ parties. In Gunnar’s class I was running a hot chocolate bar while they made snow globes and then we had a pizza party for the entire 4th grade all together. So that meant kinder and 4th grade were both having pizza parties at the exact same time. That meant me being responsible for ordering lunch for 160 children. That’s a lot of pressure. I think I gave the owner of the pizzeria a heart attack that day. I informed him that if their pizza was 1 minute late there would be consequences. He knew I was serious when that morning my calls began at 10am, and continued every 15 minutes to make sure we were on schedule for an 11:30 delivery. He was sweating for sure when his delivery guy didn’t show up until 11:45, but aha that’s all planned out because I knew the delivery guy would not be there on time, I plan for these things. So at 11:50 when all the kiddies came out for their pizza party, the pizza was there. For Sawyer’s class I knew I would be super exhausted from the morning parties so I kept it simple. We planned for muffins and hot chocolate while making snowflake cards. It was a huge success and the kids loved it, the teacher loved the simplicity of it, and it was short enough where I could still catch the end of Greta’s party. The work for these parties oddly enough is not the day of, it’s the running around for supplies that takes so much work. For Sawyer’s simple party I still had to make several dozen muffins, pick up origami paper, print out snowflake making instructions for 24 kids, and get construction paper in a multitude of colors to make the cards, thank heavens another mom offered to make the hot chocolate and another mom also made some muffins for variety. For Gunnar’s I still had to purchase all the paper goods, hot chocolate supplies, and coordinate the potluck of drinks, salads, fruits, veggies, etc. See, a lot of work. The day of was still exhausting so please don’t be surprised that I have 2 photos to show for the whole thing. <sigh> I just hope my kids have some sort of recollection of these class parties when they are grown…

Princess Party all the way

A few weekends ago my friend Niki threw her daughter Molly a princess party. And I was extremely happy to hear that Greta decided to go as Alice, one more use for her Alice dress makes me feel less and less guilty about what my mother spent on it. The details of the party were so thought out and special. When the little girls were arriving they had a coloring table set up and then they enjoyed a sit down lunch, decorated mirrors, had a scavenger hunt and then each girl had her turn with the manicurist. Serious little girl heaven.

november

bring it on november. we are ready for you. i closed out October throwing two kids their class fall celebrations, three back to back teacher conferences, and one second grader who is almost finished with his first official book report. and we’re talking all this in the course of 3 days. throw in there a foot ball game for gunnar and a field day for the two littles and a successful trip to the flea market, and there you have our weekend.

this fall project for sawyer’s class was a huge hit. parents were oohing and aahing over their kids’ awesome artwork and this is definitely a frame worthy project. and super cheap and easy to do. i didn’t have time to take photos during the art project because I was leading, but basically it’s easy peasy.

supplies are:

crushed leaves

straws

black watercolor

watercolor paper

That’s it. You start with a half a spoonful of the black watercolor. I poured it in bowls and had spoons for the kids to use. One half spoonful was plenty. Pour it near the bottom of the page in a tiny puddle. Then use the straws to blow the watercolor upward and outward. This creates the trunk and the branches. Once you are satisfied with your tree, follow with white glue and leaves. You can make the leaves on the branches, falling from the tree, gathered on the ground near the base of the tree, etc. It’s really cool and kids can get really creative. Here’s Sawyer’s fall tree.

We had a delicious feast picnic style outside. Fall dishes that were a huge hit: apple cider, pumpkin muffins, zucchini bread, pumpkin cookies, sliced melon. We decided to do it as eco friendly as possible. We used melamine plates instead of paper goods, and toothpicks and finger foods instead of forks. It was very fun and the kids loved it.

Greta’s fall celebration thankfully was on a different day because there is no way I could do both in the same day. For Greta’s class, another mom led the craft which was very sweet. They painted wooden picture frames with leaves in seasonal colors. Then they came outside to enjoy a similar picnic style feast. Another mom snapped this photo because I was busy prepping the food table, but how happy does my girl look? Boy does she love school. And she sure looked forward to this class party all month long.

Hits of the day were the carrots with pea eye balls on top. Guacamole with homemade tortilla chips in the shapes of pumpkins, pumpkin bread, more apple cider, and apple slices dipped in caramel.

outdoor cinema (aka backyard movie night)

The ingredients you will need for a successful fall outdoor cinema night may include:

a milk station for parched mouths

s’mores baskets for each family and a s’more station

plenty of camp blankets to keep you warm

a fire pit for roasting those s’mores

fresh popcorn for when the movie starts

a group of 25 kids who don’t get to see each other enough and enjoy impromptu pre-movie dance parties

and don’t forget to throw in a few edible babies to complete the night. oh and a screen, projector and great movie helps too.

Alice in Wonderland Tea Party

This is going to be a lengthy post. So brace yourselves. As I’ve mentioned before we do preschool graduation big in this house. And my last preschool graduate would be no exception. In fact, this party was originally planned for spring time but then I couldn’t get my act together in time, so we turned it into a little graduation celebration. I decided to do a much smaller party this time than I’ve done for the boys in the past. However, I think it was 10 times as much work. But totally worth it. Since I started planning it for April, I began slowly acquiring all the items. Pretty much I have lived, eaten, and breathed this party for 4 months.

Jane is my go to invitation person. She is ridiculously talented and my vision is penned to paper perfectly. She came up with the most adorable invitations for this sweet party. The photo is blurry, I took it at night time. But you can see how utterly adorable it is.

In fact, the entire week before the party was spent every single day doing things revolving around it. Whether it was an afternoon at the party goods store picking out favors and paper goods, or a day putting all the gift bags together, or shopping for lanterns, or sewing the playing cards banner, or traveling to kinko’s to get the game board made, or shopping for and cooking all the food. This was the first time I cooked everything myself. I might add it also was the first time I baked cupcakes! I know. Unreal. But we aren’t huge cupcake eaters, and in the past I’ve bought our cupcakes at bakeries.

For the adults I served turkey sandwiches, sangria, the black bean and corn salsa that has become a staple in this house, fruit salad, and sparkling waters. The kiddies had sunflower seed butter (since I am too paranoid for kiddies and nut allergies) and honey sandwiches, string cheese, fruit salad, goldfish, and cupcakes.  I also made a sparkling ‘mocktail’ for them from perrier and grapefruit juice.

The girls were directed by this sign to enter through our side gate to come to the backyard.

Once they came through the backyard we had little coloring pages I printed out with Alice in Wonderland figures on them, and then when all the girls arrived we began painting little tea cups and saucer planters. The tea cups are from Oriental Trading Co., and the paints are just acrylics from our local Blick Art store.

My sweet Alice’s costume was bought on our last trip to Disneyland.

For snacks while we were outside painting, the girls had water boxes from Amazon, and popcorn from our popcorn machine.

Once the painting was completed the girls cleaned up and our special surprise guest arrived. I hired an Alice in Wonderland character to come and attend the tea party. She walked through to the backyard and then all the girls followed her inside to see the table and find their seating assignment.

Lanterns are from Pier 1. The table setting is a paper table cloth from Party City and down the center I layered wrapping paper in the polka pattern for some fun contrast. Paper goods are also from Party City. I already owned all the platters. I purchased the clear dispenser for the drink with a chalkboard label from Pier 1. The glass drink bottles I ordered from Specialty Bottle Co., I ordered a lot and will use them for future parties.

My mom found the waffle cones where I placed the girls’ fruit salad at Gelson’s. And the goldfish was served in cupcake liners.

Alice helped serve all the girls their snacks and then read to them the story of Alice in Wonderland.

Once everyone was fed, Alice did face painting for all the girls, and then we played Pin the Grin on the Cheshire Cat. I searched for days for some kind of game or download for this and finally stumbled upon one on Etsy. I took the download and then printed it on glossy thick card stock and then mounted it on a larger board with japanese masking tape.

The morning of the party I sewed together a little banner of playing cards for some more decoration near the game.

The girls absolutely loved the game and kept doing it over and over again. And that was my sweet Alice’s party.

I really tried to multitask at the party as mama, host, photographer, and videographer. But these are all the photos I have, and the video is pretty short but it’s sweet. To watch it you’ll have to click on the post if you are using Google Reader.

Enjoy

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/28292505]