Tuesday, October 24, 2017

edith's 3rd birthday recap | day of

Saturday was Edith's actual birthday. We had this waiting for her when she woke up, along with helium balloons from Dollar Tree:
When the kids came downstairs, it was time for presents. This year, we got Edith this and this. She absolutely loved both gifts!
 After presents, we all got ready and headed to Dunkin for breakfast.
Following breakfast, Edith requested we head back to the orchard to feed the chickens and visit Joel. Easiest $1 entertainment ever.
After the orchard we ran home to change Edith for dance class. Elden actually requested to join her class and much to my surprise he cheerfully went in with her (I sit in the hall during the class) and chatted up the teacher the entire time. The school is checking with the owner if he can join full-time since he's technically a year too old for her class, but this was a huge change for our normally very introverted guy. 

After dance class, the kids ate lunch and did nap/quiet time while Jon and I party prepped. We took a very laid back approach for Edith's family party--Costco pizzas, pasta salad, and ice cream (at the request of Edith). My mom bought these princess photo props for pictures. I got a grand total of zero pictures from her family party, so all of these are stolen from family!
The theme of her gifts was definitely dress-up! She got a lot of dress-up clothes, purses, make-up, jewelry, and her first jewelry box with a dancing ballerina. That night, Elden told me for his next birthday he also wants a jewelry box but instead of a ballerina he wants it to have a Transformer in it. So, if you know where I might be able to find something like this please let me know.

It was such a great day and Edith felt so loved. She definitely thrives in the limelight so this was right up her alley. She was sad her birthday was over, but I think it left her looking forward to next year!

Monday, October 23, 2017

edith's 3rd birthday recap | friend dinner

Being a one-income family with three kids means we have to adhere to a pretty strict budget. As such, we are really trying to limit the number of kid birthday parties to the bigger milestone birthdays. On Friday night, we had two families over for hot dogs and cake to celebrate Edith. It was very low key, very inexpensive, and Edith had a blast with her friends. We played outside, had a fire, and just spent time catching up.
I didn't get many pictures of Friday or Saturday, but rest assured Edith felt very special both days.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

small group halloween party

On Thursday night we went to our small group Halloween celebration. The weather was gorgeous and we managed to take all three kids!

First up, how cute are Ginny in her flamingo costume and Etta in her peacock costume?!
 There was a ball pit. I don't think Etta enjoyed it for one minute.
 My big 3-year-old:
 And my big 5-year-old:
 Best I could get of the three of them:
 And Suzi snapped this one of the kids with me:
It was a lot of fun and I was glad to get Etta in her peacock costume since it'll probably be too cold for her to wear it on Halloween.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


To my sweet, spunky, biggest girl:

Three years ago today you joined our family. Your first year you were pretty serious and skeptical about the outside, but for the past two years we've seen that skepticism grow into fearlessness and joy.

You are so smart, silly and stubborn. Unlike your big brother, we cannot easily bribe you to do something if you do not want to do it. This is both reassuring and frustrating for us.

You greatly prefer dresses over pants. To you, "getting dressed" means putting on a necklace, underwear, and socks. You love make-up and nail polish and jewelry. Never to fit into a category, though, you also love getting dirty, playing with bugs, wrestling with your brother, and doing scary things.

You are so tender to your baby sister and Pip. You love to cuddle with me and usually cry when I leave to go anywhere without you. You absolutely cannot wait to start preschool next year. You thrive in the limelight and love making others laugh.

You have the sweetest heart--I can't tell you how many times Elden has wanted to do something that you didn't, but then you see him upset and you decide that you want him to be happy so you agree to do it with a smile.

My sweet Edith, this world is infinitely better with you in it. Our world is infinitely better with you in it. We love you so.

Happy third birthday.

Mom and Dad

Friday, October 20, 2017

DIY barbie cake tutorial - wine recommended

So for Edith's third birthday, she requested one of those birthday cakes with the dolls where the cake is the skirt. You know the type. I went online to our favorite bakery to price it out and was met with a $100 price tag. The cakes were gorgeous but there is no way I could justify spending that amount of money on them.

I started looking up tutorials about how to do this yourself and through my sleuthing found this cake pan that does the hard part--shaping the cake--for you. I managed to snag an open box one for $7. Edith picked out a Tiana doll - I can't remember where we got it but I believe it was also about $7. Then I proceeded to put off the inevitable.

She wanted the cake for when we would have her friends come over (Friday night). Being the good blogger I am (/sarcasm), I documented the ordeal for the blog. On Wednesday night I baked the cake.
I first used one cake mix but realized it would not be enough after consulting my friend, Amanda--all things cake expert. I quickly ran out to the store for more mix. After about an hour and fifteen minutes of baking, this is what I was left with:
Please note the "heating core" at the center of the cake is some grade A bull$#&%. The cake was still a little gooey in the center but that's okay because I wasn't using the freaky-doll-with-a-knitting-needle-for-a-lower-body that came with the cake pan and would therefore need to cut out the center of the cake to insert the doll anyway.

On Thursday night I needed to do the frosting. Here's the thing: I am an engineer. I went to engineering school. I had reasons for not going to art school, one of which being that I am not talented at artsy stuff and, generally speaking, attempting to do artsy stuff and the inevitable rage that accompanies such projects for me is no fun for me and even less fun for those around me. Ask all my family members. They will have stories for you.

I digress.

I knew I might need to take the edge off of this project. My lifesaver of a friend, Jen, had brought me a bottle of sweet wine earlier in the day. She was like an angel sent from the heavens. I decided to document the process on my Insta stories because why not?

At this point Jon was eating carrots and hovering. I did not appreciate his loud crunching or his silent judgment.
Once the doll was smoothish, we decided to add some sprinkles. I couldn't figure out how to adequately cover her torso because of the angle of everything. I did what any reasonable person would do and threw sprinkles at it. Jon was not expecting this and about died from laughing. He hadn't drank an ounce but had you been there you wouldn't have believed it.

Lessons Learned:
1. Zoloft is a hell of a drug. While I think I am out of the postpartum depression aspect, my therapist is pretty sure it was caused by untreated anxiety. Jon originally recommended I just smooth the frosting on instead of trying to make it detailed because "you are going to hate how it turns out and be really upset." Turns out Zoloft makes me very laissez-faire. It's borderline unsettling. Every time Jon made a comment about being worried regarding my mental state the only response I had was, "it's just a labor of love, babe."
2. If you've known me for any period of time you know I have misophonia. I've realized that my desire to shank someone for loud eating grows exponentially with my stress level. Almost shanked Jon during his carrot-eating stunt.
3. I am oddly territorial about decorating cakes. The first few times Jon came close like he was going to contribute I warned him to step off. Apparently it has to be my idea for you to Jon my decorating endeavors.
4. I'm pretty sure I will only ever do art projects while drinking from now on.
5. If you were wondering whether it was all worth it, the answer is a resounding yes:
Elden has since told me for his next birthday, he wants a cake like this but a mermaid instead of a princess. Lord, help us.