Saturday, March 2, 2013

Liam's First Birthday - Construction Party

I will update this post soon with more info about the day and where I purchased supplies. Just doing a picture drop for now! Thanks for understanding...and hope you have fun getting ideas for a boy's birthday party!
My husband designed the invite for Liam's party on publisher. We went with a blue print look and thought it was a great way to kick off this theme. He even created a blue print seal with our personal info on it. The license number is our wedding date!
 Again the sign was created in publisher and saved as a jpeg. I then had them enlarged and printed at Costco. For a 16x20 sign I paid $5! I glued it to a poster board to make it more firm and attached it to a plastic horse.
Hardhats required at all times
Each "crew member" had a personalized hardhat ready and waiting for them when they arrived.
Dump gifts into a wheelbarrow. Monthly photos of the birthday boy on a level measuring stick
Crew punch (orange Hawaiian punch) for the kiddos. 

There was also a H2O jug for the crew to fill up their cone cups with. 
On each table was a road table runner made from grey felt and bright yellow duct tape
Brown bag lunches for supervisors(adult lunches) and crew (kiddo lunches). Everything is easier with the right "tools."
Smash cake! Used a real tire for a cake stand and tin foil covered piece of wood to fill the hole like a hub cap. My mother-in-law went to a local tire dealer and asked for a tire that was going to be thrown out and got the tire for free. Free is always fun!
We had sweet selections for all the crew to choose from. "Wet Paint" Rice Krispies treats, chocolate "Wreaking balls," "Steal beam" candy sticks, "Spare tire" chocolate donuts and chocolate dirt cupcakes. 
Pin the nail on the Hammer. Googled, Hammer coloring page to get the image. We created the nail stickers in WORD by using a thin oval shape with a thin triangle shape attached to it. 
Blue print background were left over from a room addition that was done to my in-law's home.
Nailed it!
Crew members of all skill levels had fun
Birthday Boy starting to enjoy his cake
Photo op station. Have each of your guests take a photo and use it as the thank you card
Take home construction kits for all the crew (included play-doh, chalk, a toy truck, bouncy ball, candy steal beam, truck erasers) Instead of "Thanks for coming" consider "Thank for all your hard work!" Thought of it after the tags were printed. 
We had a blast at our local park on a wonderfully windy day!

More details and links to come to help assist in making your party planning easier.

Monday, September 17, 2012

How Kelli got her GROOVE back!

Well hello there!

It has been a while, a long while, since I have sat down to share what is going on in our little corner of the globe. I had been curious if life really happens if it is not shared for the world to see. I am here to tell you, my friend, it does! It does indeed! [Of course I have been checking in on Facebook everywhere I go! People say in their status updates that they don't want to know when I am at the gym or what I am about to eat, but their "Like" clicks and witty comments say otherwise! Get your click ready... some sweet coffee "art" and my current weight loss plan may be coming to a status update near you.]

Life with three kiddos, ages three and under, has taken some getting used to. Summer felt like great training grounds of how to make life happen with three. We didn't have any schedule other than what we put in it for the day. No where to have to be if something went sideways with one (or all) kiddo(s).

So training began.

We trained at the pool.
And at the beach.
We trained while playing dress up.
And while playing with animals.
We potty trained.
We did training wheels and trikes.
We trained with treats.
We trained with drinks.
We trained and trained and trained. I am now feeling the benefit of all that training. I feel like having three kids is totally manageable. I feel like having three kids is really fun. I feel like having three kids makes us a bit of a spectacle, and I LOVE being a spectacle! 

Great things were happening in the midst of all our "kid training."

There was wine tasting.
And horse races.
There were Spa Days.
And afternoon teas.
There were girls nights.
And game nights.
It was a fantastic summer. I feel like I got my groove back! [I have a strange urge to scream, STELLA!] We trained hard, we played hard, and we had the best time. Want to know the secret of life with three kids? Take one day at a time and don't be afraid to ask for help. An hour or two (or 24!) by yourself or with only adult companions has made a world of difference of how I get to come back and dive into kidland. 

So grateful to all those who helped me get my groove back. Summer does not feel over because it is still a steamy 89 degrees here in Southern California. But the days of summer feel complete and we are on to the schedule of fall and all the fun it brings. 

Like preschool.
And flying solo with three kids! 
Talk about a spectacle...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sanity Sustainers

As I journey further into my life with three children I am finding how important it is to find the time and the things that keep me sane so that I don't lose my mind or my temper while I attempt this new stage of Motherhood.

Here are a few of my "Sanity Sustainers" that help me get through a day (or an hour, or a minute):
Doing my hair and make up
Now I realize most of you may think this is my vanity kicking in, but truly I find peace and am recharged when I do my hair and makeup. Some women clean when stressed. Others exercise. I bust out my hot rollers and eyeliner and find a sense of control and accomplishment. The better my hair looks, the more difficult the day has been. My curling iron has saved lives. My kiddos' lives and my own!
Getting out of the house
I am the opposite of a homebody. I love my home, I just don't need to be in it very much. Having children has definitely slowed me down and kept me in my home more than I would prefer. But when I am having a crazy day or have completely lost am starting to lose my cool (i.e. crying right along with all three of my children) I do everything in my power to get out of the house. Something about a change of scenery and fresh air put things back into perspective. I try to get out of the house at least once a day. It may be to the nearby park or the Disneyland parks, depending on how adventurous I feel, but it has to be outside my front door.
How awful is sleep deprivation? I had forgotten the desperation and loss of normal thinking and functioning that comes with lack of sleep. Even a 25 minute power nap can make all the difference in a day to keep my wits about me.
Adult time
Last week I had my dark day. The day when the lack of sleep finally catches up to you. The day when a friend or stranger offers you a concerned tilted head smile and tears burst forth from your eyes as though a dam had just been blown to bits. That was last Thursday for me. My husband kissed me goodbye as he went off to work, I cried. My friend sent me a text checking in to see how I was doing, I cried. Read an email about motherhood, I cried. A friend stopped by and hugged me hello, I cried. My daughter told me I was the best because I took her too the park, I cried. ALL DAY LONG I CRIED! But I cried less when my friend came to visit because adult interaction made life feel a bit more normal. I cried less when my husband came home because reinforcements had arrived AND conversation with him was more than about the game Candy Land and Princesses. Adult interaction definitely keeps me sane and I am becoming much more intentional to make that happen.
This one probably needs to go because it is no longer cute to have a big round belly now that I am no longer pregnant. (I am not fishing for compliments here, I know it will take time to get back to my pre pregnant body) But when I get a few moments of peace, I want a piece of pie or cake or candy or a bag of chips to go with it! Why is bad food so tasty? I would like to make a quick shout out to all of you who have helped me indulge in this part of my sanity in the past month. I truly appreciate you loving me in this way and if anyone else would like to send me sweets to keep me sane, leave me a comment with your email address and I will gladly send you an address to send or bring sweets to!
Looking at pictures
I have been working on gathering pictures for our 2011 Family Photo book and it is so great to walk down memory lane. As I scan our iPhoto library I often land on the pictures from my honeymoon and relish the memory of that vacation and how carefree my husband and I were. My blood pressure goes down for those few moments and helps  put me in a better space for when I need to tend to a tantrum throwing child.

How do you stay sane? I would love some more ideas to keeping a level head as I manage three children.

(Especially when the freaking garbage truck wakes one up from their nap! I HATE YOU GARBAGE TRUCK! Sanity Stealer right there!)

Monday, March 5, 2012

The New Man in My Life

William "Liam" Malcolm was born last week and we have been in the midst of adjusting to and loving our now family of five!

He came into the world pretty easily (only three hours of labor and two pushes...I understand if you want to call me a bad name right now). He was a big healthy boy weighing in at 9 pounds 6 ounces!

The day after my last post I had too many contractions for 34 weeks pregnant and was put on bed rest for two weeks! And yes, that definitely helped my feeling of isolation! We then got to enjoy a gnarly case of double pink eye for Katie and a sinus infection for my husband. My goal was to keep Liam in long enough to get everyone in our house well for him to safely make his debut! I made my goal!

My friend, Shara, took some very sweet photos of Liam this weekend and so I thought I would share a couple of them here! (Check her post about Liam here for more sweet photos and her incredible talent.) He really is the sweetest and I can't wait to see his little personality start begin to emerge more and more.

Here is to life with three kids ages three and under! (I think I'm a bit crazy, too!) But I took the kids to Starbucks and the park today with very minimal crying. Oh, and Liam didn't cry much either.