Monday, July 25, 2011

Panda-monium Revisted

Banana was supposed to have a big birthday party last summer. Traditionally we have family celebrations for all birthdays and something a little bigger for 5th and 10th birthdays. Banana chose her theme last summer, a tribute to her favorite animal and the trip of a lifetime she had recently taken-- the trip to China to bring home a little brother. Last year we bought decorations, favors, and even made invitations, but I just couldn't seem to pull it off.

Thankfully, Banana is the sweet girl she is and understood and patiently waited until her 11th birthday for her "big" party. It worked out well for her though. This summer the girls attended an art camp. Each morning for a week they went to a local studio and made an assortment of amazing art projects. Banana especially enjoyed the camp. She is my writer, my creator, my artist. It was during that week she decided to have her birthday party at the studio

It was amazing. Juli, the owner, walked all the girls through painting their own panda (of course) or tiger (in keeping with the Asian theme). 

One of the things I most enjoyed about the camp and the party was that Juli was able to walk the girls through these amazing projects and showed them how to create paintings and projects that turned out so fantastic, far surpassing anything the girls thought they would be able to create. Yet they did all the work themselves. Even little Bophie walked away with a beautiful work of art she painted on her own.

With a little help from Betty Crocker, I too had a creation that turned out better than expected. After Joseph's monkey cake, and Bear's polar bear cupcakes, I was put on notice to plan a panda bear cake. This turned out much cuter than I thought it would a few hours before the party began when I was lamenting having begun such a process.

As her friends were leaving, Banana looked up at me with a big grin and said, "That was the best party ever!" It meant the world to me. It was totally worth all the cake tutorials, how to draw a panda you tube videos, and the general chaos of  party planning just to see the look on her face.

Thankfully I have a few years before anyone else turns 5 or 10!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Labor of Love

My first labor of love ended on this date 11 years ago with the birth of this sweet girl.
 I would like to say it began on this day, but this little one's labor was 3 days long. Oy!

I am also not sure the labor has ended as I am frantic trying to put all the final touches on her Panda birthday party. You could say there is more than a little panda-monium going on here, at least more than normal. More is on the way too. Twelve tween girls painting at an art studio (thank goodness it isn't my house)!  Birthday parties certainly are another labor of love- at least for me. Cakes, ice cream, banners, favors. Oy!

I'll post party pictures later, but for now I'll simply wish the sweetest 11 year old I know a very happy birthday! We love you Banana!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

When They Are Sixteen

I doubt we will find them each their own car-- for free.
However, at age three, we certainly did. We found these lovely little coupes for them at different times on the same street. They were just sitting by the curb and waiting for a new owner. They were also in need of a good car wash, which dh took care of with this:
His third Father's Day gift, which we really needed because of the stain the mulch left on the driveway. The electric air pump and the remote control motorcycle were also really needed :)
This third gift will clean my windows (hint hint dh) so I guess it was needed. It also did wonders for those poor abandoned cars, and now my little ones have wheels of their own.
Ones they love, and when they do turn sixteen, I'm pretty sure I won't want them to have cars of their own anyway...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


We arrived a little early to our town's Fourth of July parade. The kids waited patiently.
OK, not this patiently, but no one needs to take pictures of how antsy they seemed to be getting...

At one point little Bophie wanted to show me her newly acquired advanced counting skills. She told me she could now count very, very high.

"How high?" I asked.

"To the highest number there is!" she replied. 

"Really?" I asked, "What number is that?"

"Fifty-five," she matter-of-factly responded.
Clearly she could not have counted the pieces of candy she collected at that parade because I am certain it was well over that highest number of hers.