Entries Tagged as 'kids’ parties'

a letter to my son on his third birthday

23.03.17

GB, Geebs, Geebo–

Well, kid, you’re three. A threenager, as they say nowadays, and boy does it show. I was rereading last year’s letter and it seems at two you were just practicing for the horror that was to come.

We both feel today has been too much one-on-one time. #pottytraining #mrgatsby #ohbotherblog 🍯

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I’ll be honest: the past month or so has been pretty rough. You get, um, explosively emotional sometimes and it seems most of your ire is directed at me. I say sometimes that you’re like an abusive boyfriend–you go from yelling and hitting me one second, to stroking my face and telling me I’m pretty the next. Sometimes, though, you’re very calm and you’re telling me and Holdy, “it’ll be alright.” So my sweet GB is still in there somewhere, but he’s a little more hidden than he used to be. It’s sort of a Bruce Banner/The Hulk situation, I guess.

"GB, why did you take your clothes off?" "To be like Bruce Banner." #hulkout

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Speaking of The Hulk, you are obsessed with superheroes. Spider-Man and Captain America mostly. You know all of the Avengers’ first names and like to use them: “Spider-Man Peter Parker” (or Petuh Pawkah in your accent), “Tony Iron Man.” You like to pretend you can climb the wall and you have Spider-Man shoes, shirts, hoodie and underpants.

Spidey testing out his climbing abilities. #ohbotherblog

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Weirdo #giventhecamelback

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Ah… underpants. We just did our potty-training bootcamp this weekend and it actually went pretty well. I did have to take home several bags of wet clothes from yesterday’s first attempt at school, but we’ll get there. You’re refusing Pull-Ups now, saying, “I’m big” with a shrug. It’s true, you are.

You started school this year at York Day Nursery. Your teachers are Miss Jennifer, Miss Sheryl and Miss Latasha. You thrive at school. You like to work with your hands and you are so creative. Your school likes to send little notes home with interesting things you’ve said throughout the day. The latest was when you were coloring with a yellow crayon you said, “I’m making sunshine!” You speak in complex sentences and you have an impressively large vocabulary.

York Day Nursery Valentine's Day party

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Of course, that vocabulary also includes curse words. Man, you have a filthy mouth; way worse than your sister ever had. The other weekend you were having a morning meltdown in my face so I removed you from my presence. You sat outside my bedroom, banging on the door, repeatedly moaning for me to, “open the fucking door.” Two days later, you were angry at me for not getting your milk (and I was angry at you for not asking nicely), and you yelled at me to, “get the milk, fucker!” I mean, you were using the terms correctly which makes me secretly proud, but obviously that’s not cool, dude. We’re working on it.

Your favorite food is scrambled eggs. You and your sister would eat breakfast for dinner every night if you could… and during Restaurant Week this year you literally did. You love “white milk” and “bars” and that’s about it. You need to eat, kid! Your lack of appetite drives me nuts.

Valentines #whatholdywore #mrgatsby #ohbotherblog 🍯

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Your sister is your best friend but you guys fight like cats and dogs. You’re at each others necks (sometimes literally) all night, and yet somehow you both choose to sleep together in the same bed every night. I’m so glad that you guys have each other and I hope you stay just as close as you grow… though it does make for some crazy evenings at our house.

Good morning. #ohbotherblog 🍯

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You’ve grown to love Sally, who sleeps with you guys every night. You’re warming to Brutus, though I understand having a large creature who’s literally 100 pounds larger than you bounding at your being might be a little frightening.

Best buds both had a big weekend. #brutus #mrgatsby

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You’re warm and curious and thoughtful. You’re funny. You’re reserved with people you don’t know. You’re my buddy. You really are a mama’s boy. Sometimes it’s a little ridiculous–you really should be wiping your own nose by now. But I’m glad you still like to give hugs and kisses and I’m secretly happy to still carry you around (sometimes. Not when my hands are full of bags and whatnot). 

Watchin' superheroes.

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Happy Birthday, Buddy. We love you.

 

cheater thank you cards (again)

23.06.15

Birthday Pancakes for a picky toddler @ohbotherblog

If you’ll recall, Holdy’s third birthday party was a few weeks ago. She received a lot of generous gifts from family and friends, so it’s time to say, “thank you.” 

If you’ll also recall, I’m kind of lazy  overwhelmed by life busy and usually looking for the easiest way to pull things off.

After Holden’s first birthday, I said, “thank you” with what I call “cheater thank you cards.” I googled “birthday thank you poem” and then found a first birthday thank you poem in an old Babycenter forum that I tweaked. This is what I ended up with:

Easy (cheater) thank you cards for first birthday. Birthday Thank You Poem. @ohbotherblog

I cheated even more for the thank you’s for GB’s first birthday. I used my Pampers Rewards Points toward 25 free Shutterfly 4×8 photo cards, uploaded a photo from his birthday party and reused the same poem.

Easy cheater thank-you cards for a baby's first birthday @ohbotherblog

That (cheap) process worked super easily for me, so I replicated the formula when it came to the thank you’s this time around.

I had to adjust the poem a bit to be appropriate for a third birthday party, but I thought the results were pretty cute:

Easy cheater thank-you cards for a kid's third birthday @ohbotherblog

The literary masterpiece went like this:

Thank you from Holdy!

The party is over; I’m officially three!
Thank you for sharing my birthday with me.

Pancakes are my favorite;
I hope you liked them too.
My birthday was so fun, because I spent it with you.

Thank you for my gifts, my wishes and more.
See you next year, when I turn four!

The “pancakes” line could easily be swapped out with “cake” (or whatever random food item your child exclusively eats and you choose to plan a party theme around). And yes, I realize the “and more” was a stretch, but I was experiencing some writer’s block on other words to rhyme with “four.”

I did let Holdy “customize” the envelopes for a more personal touch.

Let your toddler color and place stickers on a thank you card for a personal touch @ohbotherblog

Oh, and here’s the original poem from the first birthday, if you want to cheat like I did:

The party is over. I’m officially ONE!
Thank you for coming;
I hope you had fun!
Sending big kisses,
from me to you.
See you next year,
when I turn TWO!

Holden’s Princess Pancake Party

08.06.15

Pancake Birthday Party for a Picky Toddler @ohbotherblog

As I’ve shared, Holden’s eating habits can be challenging. As such, I would say the kid probably eats pancakes for at least seven of her weekly meals (don’t judge me; sometimes it’s not worth the battle).

So for her third birthday this year, I decided to go with what we know and have a breakfast pancake party… a Princess Pancake Party.

We took over the mezzanine level of our Central Market House downtown. The Market is closed on Sundays, but Mezzogiorno at the Market is open and happens to make bangin’ pancakes.

Princess Pancake Party at Central Market in York @ohbotherblog 

I decorated the mezzanine with Dollar Tree finds, in pink of course. And yes, those are frappuccino bottles doubling as vases. I saved a case of them after seeing a cute Pin for a milk and cookies party theme. No, I never had a milk and cookies party. Yes, this is the first time I’m using them in two years.

Princess Pancake Party for a picky three year old @ohbotherblog

I gave the kids a table of their own and filled it with activities to (hopefully) keep them entertained while waiting for pancakes.

Princess Pancake Party for a Picky Toddler @ohbotherblog

Coloring books, crayons and glitter pens to decorate their individual princess hats (again, all Dollar Tree).

Table activities to keep toddlers busy at a birthday party @ohbotherblog

Breakfast snacks consisted of a breakfast pastry platter, fruit tray, coffee, mini bottles of chocolate milk and orange juice… and mimosa fixings for the grownups (especially for me).

Mimosas for Mom at a kids' birthday pancake party @ohbotherblog

The birthday girl was so excited to see all her family and friends gathered to celebrate her.

Holdy's arrival at her birthday party @ohbotherblog

It was a perfect #whatholdywore opportunity to capture her party ensemble.

#whatholdywore princess dress and sneakers @ohbotherblog

#whatholdywore princess dress and sneakers @ohbotherblog

Holdy and her friends had fun coloring and decorating their hats.

Crafts to entertain kids during a party @ohbotherblog

And the moment we were all waiting for: Birthday Pancakes!

Birthday Pancakes for a picky toddler @ohbotherblog

Birthday Pancakes for a picky toddler @ohbotherblog

Birthday Pancakes for a picky toddler @ohbotherblog

After we all ate pancakes and Holden opened her gifts, the party was over, lasting about an hour and a half in total–my kind of kids’ party!

Oh, and I’ve been trying to find theme-appropriate t-shirts for myself to wear to each party. I found this tee at 5 Below (flower crown is my own!):

Happy Birthday Holdy! @ohbotherblog

 

I’m thinking this may be our last birthday party for a bit. Although this party was relatively easy to pull off, I’d like to focus on fun activities/experiences, rather than a party, for the next few birthdays. Remind me I said this next year!

DIY Party Decorations

19.04.15

GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog

Many of you have asked me, “Meg, how did a moron like you manage to make such cute decorations for GB’s party?” Okay, well you didn’t exactly say it like that, but I know you were thinking it.

If you want the truth, the answer is… glue dots! So here’s how I did it:

Cupcake Picks

DIY cupcake pick decorations @ohbotherblog

I punched my circles–one red and one blue for accent colors, and stuck them together with a magic glue dot.

I then rolled up a glue dot for the back of my little mustache because it wasn’t actually a sticker.

DIY cupcake pick decorations @ohbotherblog

Rolled up a glue dot for the back of the lollipop stick and slapped it onto my paper medallion.

DIY cupcake pick decorations @ohbotherblog

Boom. Done.

DIY cupcake pick decorations @ohbotherblog

(Now you understand why I was able to do this myself).
GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog
Seriously, so easy.

Paper Banner Bunting

DIY paper bunting banner @ohbotherblog

I printed my own scrapbook paper because I couldn’t find patterns I liked in my color scheme, but you could of course use any scrapbook paper you like.

Print out the bunting template and use it as your model. Cut the paper to match the template.

DIY paper bunting banner @ohbotherblog

Pop on some glue dots and attach the pennants to the jute, cut to whatever length you need. Apply as many pennants as you want to each banner.

DIY paper bunting banner @ohbotherblog

 Boom. Done.

GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog

So, like I said, glue dots are clutch. They can make anyone a crafting star.

And that, my friends, is how this moron made decorations for her son’s first birthday party without it being a true Pinterest fail.

GB’s First Birthday Party

22.03.15

We held GB’s First Birthday party yesterday at this adorable little pretzel shop, York City Pretzel Company (of which I happen to be an owner). I shared my lackadaisical approach to birthday planning the other day, but this party turned out pretty damn cute if I do say so myself. And, believe it or not, I actually made most of the decorations–I know: Who am I?

Whaddya think?

GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog GB's red and aqua mustache and bowtie first birthday party @ohbotherblog

Happy Birthday (tomorrow), Buddy! 

one week to GB’s party

14.03.15

GB's party inspiration board - red and aqua first birthday @ohbotherblog

 

GB’s first birthday party is one week away. Am I ready? Ha. Ha. No.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • I’m hosting the party at my pretzel shop, so there will be soft pretzels.
  • I’m doing a general red and aqua color scheme and “little man” theme with mustaches and bowties.
  • I ordered GB an adorable first birthday outfit (from Etsy of course).
  • I’m using a digital red and aqua scrapbook paper download to make some pennants to hang, primarily on his highchair.
  • I (actually) made some cute cupcake picks using crafty stuff from AC Moore. I even now own a Martha Stewart paper punch. Who am I?
  • I ordered some vanilla cupcakes to stick those picks in… and got a free smash cake in the process!
  • I found some red and blue sodas that I’m going to display in a metal drink tub.
  • I ordered a Dr. Seuss birthday book for guests to sign.
  • I’m using butcher paper to cover the tables.
  • I’m going to pick up some red and aqua helium balloons.

and… that’s about it. Since this is a small gathering with just family, they shouldn’t judge me if I don’t have a Big Top and photo booth and clown and foie gras, right? You guys know how I feel about birthday parties, after all.

I’ll share photos after the party!

still not letting it go: we went to a “Frozen” tea party

15.12.14

In my never-ending quest to assuage my working mom guilt and spend some fun time with Holden, I bought us tickets to attend a “Frozen”-themed tea party by a local company called The Enchanted Teapot. If you’ll recall from our “Frozen” On Ice almost-misadventure, my attempts don’t always go according to plan.  Remember this?

Holden's first trip to Disney on Ice @ohbotherblog

This time, however, not only did Holden actually wear the Anna dress, she let me do her hair in braided pigtails AND she wore a flower wreath on her head.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

(Notice that sweet cowlick? A straight part is never going to be in this girl’s future.)

She did have a brief freak-out once the dress was on, but I soon realized it was because she also wanted to wear her “bug” wings.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

(We had just gotten through a weekend of watching “Peter Pan Live” on repeat so she had a slight Tinkerbell obsession.)

Oh, and I went ahead and got dressed up too.

 

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Why, yes, that is a fake-braid headband. I’m straight up bald in the front from having GB so my braid situation was not working out.

The dress is one I actually owned from a funny fancy-dress party in grad school. It’s literally 12 sizes too big and I had to pin myself into it.

I think we looked pretty cute, though–ridiculous dress and all.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

The tea party was adorable, with precious little “Frozen”-themed treats.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

Holden was very well behaved (at the start), and was so excited.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

She colored “Frozen” pictures.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

She met Anna.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

And Elsa. She was so starstruck.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

They sang songs.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

Holden, of course, had to steal the show. She even threw in a few forward rolls and twirls for good measure.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

They read stories.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

Notice Holden butted her way right on up to the front. At one point she even stood up, blocking the other kids’ view. Luckily, the rest of them were older and gracious to her being young and self-centered. There’s no real (quiet) way to push through a crowd to get your loud, stubborn two-year-old to sit down in this situation. I tried.

She even helped herself to Elsa’s throne.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

She really was good for 95% of the event. She did have a meltdown toward the end when we had to wait in line for the official photo with the princesses. She may or may not have thrown herself on the floor and screamed, but I had already paid the $15 for the photos, so we were getting them, dammit. Her crocodile tears stopped as soon as she approached Anna and Elsa.

And then she hugged and tried to kiss them. They were both very sweet about turning their head for a cheek kiss, even though Holden was clearly going for the mouth.

Overall, we had a (surprisingly?) great time. Even if I was one of the only adults who dressed up.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

I mean, look how happy she was:

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

I’ll make sure to show her these photos when she’s 15 and tells me she hates me on a regular basis.

"Frozen" Tea Party @ohbotherblog

birthday traditions

16.06.14

Holden's 2nd birthday @ohbotherbotherblog

So as per ushe, I’m totally late on this (like more than a week late), but Holdy’s second birthday was pretty great.

I forewent a big birthday party this year and instead we went to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Holden's 2nd birthday @ohbotherbotherblog

We continued the tradition of birthday pizza.

Holden's 2nd birthday @ohbotherbotherblog

We wore hats and ate the delicious cake I made (by scratch! yes, me!).

Holden's 2nd birthday @ohbotherbotherblog

And we had a Birthday Clock Photo success!

Holden's 2nd birthday @ohbotherbotherblog

Oh and of course the tradition of a meltdown birthday photo is still going strong!

Holden's 2nd birthday @ohbotherbotherblog

the no-party birthday

04.06.14

Party pooper @ohbotherblog

As I stand holding the third invitation we’ve received to a carnival/circus-themed kid’s birthday party this year—this one complete with big-top tent, popcorn machine and balloon-animal-making clown—I feel both relieved and slightly guilty.

Holden’s second birthday is this Saturday. I’ve opted not to throw her a big party this year because I. just. cannot. I think the party I threw for her first birthday was cute and not really too over-the-top and even that was more effort than I care to spend this year. I mean, don’t tell me you’ve forgotten about those damn rainbow cupcakes.

Rainbow Cake Fail @ohbotherblog

So for Holdy’s birthday, we’re taking a trip to the zoo and then we’re inviting grandparents over for a cake that I will (hopefully) make. I like to think I’m not depriving my child or traumatizing her by not throwing the big party.

I enjoyed having a summer birthday growing up and, if the weather was nice, we’d spend the day at the pool and I’d get a thrill if my birthday was announced over the loud speaker. I was usually able to invite a friend to the movies and then we went back to my house for cake and ice cream. It was enough for me.

Part of my inspiration in starting this blog is that I think we as parents/homeowners/cooks/humans are placing too high expectations on ourselves to lead a Pinterest-worthy life. It’s exhausting.

Birthday tradition: clock photo showing birth time @ohbotherblog

So I’m taking myself out of the game on this one. I can’t compete with the photo booths and handmade decorations and popcorn bars. There will be no clowns or paper garlands or custom party favors. There will be zoo animals, and birthday pizza, and a (hopefully) handmade cake and, of course, the birthday clock photo. And it will be enough for me. And for Holden.

Let’s all just cut ourselves some slack.

oh and p.s.—this is the cake I’m attempting tomorrow night: The Best White Cake Recipe. Just because I’m not throwing a Pinterest-worthy party doesn’t mean there won’t be Pinterest fails.

Remember this one?

Pinterest FAIL: Oh Happy Day's mini cakes @ohbotherblog

why? because we like you: mickey party.

08.07.13

Mickey Mouse Birthday Banner @ohbotherblog

I was in the presence of true birthday party-planning greatness this weekend. One of my best friends (since we were like 10), DL, has always been so crafty. She gets it from her mom, who is the craftiest of the crafty. From puffy paint sweatshirt parties in elementary school (it was the 90’s!) to making her wedding decorations (and my wedding centerpieces!), these ladies having been crafting Pinterest-worthy creations before Pinterest was even a thing.

For her son’s second birthday, DL threw a Mickey Mouse-themed birthday party. Not only was everything handmade, it was absolutely freaking adorable.

Can we talk about these goody bags?

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Mouse Ear Goody Bags. Doggie gift bags with Pluto for guests' dogs. @ohbotherblog

DL played all modest like, “oh, it’s just construction paper on a red gift bag.” Come on! So much work went into those perfectly round ears and four perfect dots on those buttons. And the polka dot tissue paper? Such attention to detail that I just don’t possess.

And, yes, those are doggie treat bags for the guests’ dogs. Again, adorable.

And then there were the cupcakes!

Mickey Mouse Ear Cupcakes with Oreos @ohbotherblog

Huge, delicious chocolate cupcakes topped with cookie crumbs. Toothpicks in the cream part of the Oreos and plunked right in the top to make Mickey’s ears. Super easy and super cute.

I mean:

Mickey Mouse ears cupcake - Mickey Mouse birthday party @ohbotherblog

And she made it all look so easy. Crafty friends are the best friends to have! Great job, DL! Happy Birthday, Conner!

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