Monday, June 9, 2014

The Buddy's 2nd Birthday Party

I originally thought we would forgo a birthday party for the buddy this year with all the busy things going on in May. The month started off with our trip to Italy, then I was finishing up the school year with all kinds of end of the year events, and we had family that was coming to town. Plus, I had a pretty unusable left hand. So, we thought we would have a little get-together with family the weekend after his birthday. My grandparents were coming to town, so I thought I would get truck-themed decorations and a truck cake and that would be the extent of the celebration. :) But, life always throws unexpected events in your way. My great-grandfather passed away the week before the family get-together, and the services were out of town, so all of the weekend plans got cancelled. Because of this, we opted to move the birthday celebration a week later to Memorial Day Weekend and actually make it more of a party! We quickly made some e-invitations and invited our families (Dave's parents even came down from Chicago for the weekend!) and a few of our closest family friends with kiddos similar in age to the buddy.
Opening up some animals!

Because the event was moved a week later I had a little more time to plan, but I definitely didn't have enough time to get creative or do anything super original. We kept it all very simple. Since the party was from 4-6pm (between nap and bedtime), we didn't think serving a full dinner was in order, but we didn't want to just have cake and ice cream either. So, I made a fruit salad, fresh veggies with dip, Trader Joe's Meatballs and chips and salsa. It wasn't anything fancy or theme-related, but enough so that people could eat. 

 
Before all the food had been added to the table

We are grateful for our backyard and nice weather and just hung out back there for the majority of the party. I bought truck plates, hats, napkins and a tablecloth from Party City, along with a big helium balloon of a dump truck that was quite a hit. We borrowed an outdoor folding table and chairs from a neighbor, so we had enough seating for everyone. We started with snacks and then around 4:45 sang and ate cake and ice cream. Because of the buddy's egg allergy, I ended up just ordering a vegan cake from Whole Foods and they did the truck design to try to match our theme. Making and decorating an egg-free cake was definitely not at the top of my priority list at that point. When they asked me about the flavors, I didn't even care. As long as there were trucks on the top and no egg inside we were good-to-go in my opinion. :-)

The tablecloth was too long for the table we used, so for favors we wrapped sidewalk chalk and bubbles in the leftover truck-themed tablecloth, which worked perfectly. In terms of activities, we didn't really plan any because we knew the adults would enjoy talking and the little kids would enjoy running around the backyard and playing with the buddy's toys. At about 5pm a few people had to leave, so at that point we moved into the gift opening, which was a blast! This birthday was the first time he ever seemed to understand presents and gifts. He got so excited about everything he opened! It was really sweet.

Digging into some cake and ice cream!

I think if we continue to do birthday parties in the future, this is exactly the way we want to do them. We loved that there were just about 15 people total, which was totally manageable to have at our own house, and a fun, but simple way to celebrate the buddy on his special day! To me the goal is that he has fun and feels special, and that we are able to celebrate with those closest to us. I don't have it in me to be super creative, so even though I look kind of enviously at parties with big themes and lots of decorations, I know that it's just not in the cards for us to do big parties like that.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The buddy is 2!

Boy, oh boy! I can't believe we have a 2 year old! (Almost a month ago. Oops! I'm behind.)
 
Weight & Length:
The buddy is still quite the little dude at 23 lbs, which keeps him firmly in the 3rd percentile. I can't remember his height (oops!), but I know he was in the 19th percentile. He may be thin, but he is STRONG! 

Birthday breakfast of pancakes and bacon










Clothes: We officially had to get rid of all the 18 month clothes and are just in size 24 months or 2T. Even some of his 24 months outfits are too short -- confirmation that he's definitely getting taller. :)

Sleeping:
I was worried that his 2-year molars were going to really disturb his sleep, but he continues to sleep 12 hours at night and take a 3-hr nap. Not always of course, but most of the time. Although, right now we are weaning from the pacifier, so we're all having some sleeping issues, but we're hoping this isn't too long-lived.


Eating:
He's definitely still a toddler, so there are some moments of spitting out his food, being picky, or refusing to try something new. But, overall I feel grateful we have a diverse eater. He's still drinking whole milk and has 3 decent meals a day, and I'm trying to do away in the snacks in between to encourage him to eat more substantially at meals. I tend to be lazy at lunch as almond butter and jelly sandwiches are quite standard, and even though he loves them I know it would be best to add more variety. Just a few days ago I thought I would give him some raw spinach to try along with some taco salad and he gobbled it up! His favorite foods are pancakes, bacon, grapes, cheese and pizza. 

Loving this excavator he got for his birthday! He's OBSESSED with construction trucks! :)

Personality: Oh man, after we got back from Italy it was as if his personality and vocabulary totally exploded! He has always had such a fun personality, but the more he learns to say the more fun it gets for us! He loves trying to make us laugh and is truly quite hilarious. He loves dancing and singing, so we're considering putting him in a "mommy and me" dance class. He's currently obsessed with all kinds of trucks and can name more than I even know! From excavators, back hoes and garbage trucks to dump trucks and car carriers. :) He also loves animals and sports, so he gets quite excited about the zoo and talks about all the animals long before we even get to their exhibit. He knows the names of all the different types of sports balls, but that doesn't mean he knows quite what to do with them yet. He really is hitting his basketball with his golf club. ha!

Milestones and Firsts:
I definitely can't keep track of all his new words! It's so fun to be able to have conversations with our sweet little boy. He can answer just about all of our questions and knows the difference between the question words, which is fun that he knows to answer questions about "who" with a person, etc. I guess it's a milestone that he now how 3 out of 4 of his 2 year molars, so there's only one more tooth left to come it! He had continued to have a lot of "firsts," like his first extended time away from his parents, his first Easter Egg Hunt, first few times to go pee-pee on the potty (they were all just coincidences of putting him on there before bathtime), first time recognizing "two" of something, and the list goes on. He can also recognize circles and has started to recognize colors as well. Looking back at our calendar of the past 6 months, I'm overwhelmed at all the new things he can do! I feel like for the rest of my life I will just always be amazed at all the news things this kid can do.

The first "gift giving occasion" that he really understood opening gifts- He LOVES these George books!