Thursday, March 29, 2012

Aunties and Unkas and a mini-vacay...

This past weekend, we loaded up Filipe Ford and took the family down to New Bern, NC for a short, mini-vacay with Casey's mom and brother (and his wifey, Leah). I didn't mention it before we left in case any of our readers are thieves, and wanted to steal our one crappy TV, our busted computer, or maybe Cooper. We're all about security you know (we do live in Durham after all- JOKING)...

Naturally, I forgot my camera charger so I only have a few photos. But that's okay because in Bea's opinion, I was at least able to capture pictures of some of favorite people in the world. Grandma (of course, she's her BFF after all):

Notice the apron- a Grandma special for Bea
And a new favorite, Unka Evan and Aunt LeLe:
We talked a lot about this trip before it happened, so Bea could get excited about going to "the beach". But all of that talk about oceans and sand and vacation were thrown out the window when Unka Evan showed up:
Bea has three aunts (CoCo, Carson and Evan's wife, Leah), but she only has one uncle:
Everything looks better from her vantage point.
And Bea thinks he's pretty great:
For example, we stumbled on a playground while on a walk in New Bern. And, because my child refuses to utilize any other part of a park, we took a little time to swing:
This is okay, but Unka Evan might make it better...
Even with her trusty favorite, Grandma, behind her to push, Bea wasn't content until Unka Evan joined in:
The only full-grown adult who can still fit into a baby swing...
Then, when that wasn't good enough, she demanded that Unka Evan and Auntie LeLe push her:
Smitten Kittens.
 And because Unkas are good at things like making any situation a little more dangerous, Bea demanded "higher, higher"... so Unka Evan and Aunt LeLe obliged:
No Fear Bea.
That's when Mommy had a heart attack and called it off. It was good timing though, because this guy:
He's the Bea's Bee's Knees
Wore that little girl out:
Silence is Golden.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Springtime, Sneezetime

There are a lot of great advantages to living in Central North Carolina during the Spring. We're a two hour drive from the beach, so on warm days a day trip to the coast isn't out of the question. We get to wear shorts in March and start working on our tans before Easter displays are out in the stores.

Trees and flowers start blooming much earlier here than a lot of places. It's really quite beautiful.

And it's also quite horrible. For a solid three weeks every year, Springtime in Central North Carolina really only means one thing. Pollen:
It's everywhere. And it's disgusting:
I feel like my sinuses seize up every time I step outside right now, because of this crappy stuff:
Our car? It used to be blue. Now, it's a solid shade of pea soup green:
And it gets so bad around here, that the roads practically have pollen tumbleweeds blowing in the wind, outlining tire tracks and foot prints the way snow might:
As a native North Carolinian, I know to just keep telling myself that "This too shall pass" and before we know it, I'll be able to wean myself off of Zyrtec. Until then, I'm thinking I might need to start wearing a SARS mask...


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

This is what little girls are made of:

Pink shirts, yellow tutus, sweet pigtails and (if you look closely enough) sparkly, purple toenail polish:

Attempting to turn her little pink chick into a prince:

Her pink bike, with pink streamers of course, into a chariot:

And, if she doesn't stop taking photos and help her down, her Mommy into a toad:


Monday, March 26, 2012

Hairy Scary...

Bea woke up from nap last week and that's when it hit me:
 My toddler has crazy hair:

No really, it's nuts:
Forget descriptions like, "Cow Lick" or "Swirl":
 The only word fit to describe this mayhem is simply- Rat's Nest:
 Sometimes, when she wakes up in the morning or after naps, I think to myself, "Good Lord. Did her hair grow again!?!":
It appears the answer is yes:
 Girlfriend has Rapunzel on notice that she no longer has the market cornered on Golden Locks of Curls:

Detangler, anyone?:


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Camp Bea: A Second Birthday Party

Since Beatrice Kate's actual birthday was last Monday, we decided to delay her big birthday party until the weekend. That extra week of preparation turned out to be a really good call. Why? Well, Mommy got a little carried away.

What can I say? I love a theme and Pinterest enables me to feed that obsession. And during a recent family hike last fall, I just knew that Mommy Bea would love a camping themed party. Once that was in place, there was no stopping me.  It all started with the invite:
I mean, come on. It doesn't get much cuter than a Pink Tent Invite, folks!
Since our house in Durham is the size of a shoebox, hosting it here wasn't an option so, selecting the location for the party was an easy decision. Living so close to the Eno River State Park has provided us with a lot of great hiking opportunities for a while now and I knew this would be the perfect place to "set up camp". (Side Note: If you live locally, and haven't made it out to this local treasure... make a plan to visit this spring.) Plus, hosting it somewhere else meant I didn't have to clean my house before the party.

Then, we stumbled on the Fews Ford Picnic Shelter which had a REAL! LIVE! FIREPLACE! and visions of campfire s'mores were all I could think about. It kind of snowballed from there, really. S'mores turned into "Let's decorate with Nature" starting with a banner, made of sticks:
Originally, this said, "Happy Birthday Beatrice Kate" but Good Lord, that kid has a long name.
And, what ever party needs, right? Stick tripods, for the food labels:
In case of confusion... read the signs.
 Speaking of food, the menu featured all the toddler classics: hotdogs, chips, veggie burgers, fruit:
And of course, the crowd favorite:

Those suckers were especially a hit among the 3 and under crowd:
 I mean, a really, really big hit:
 For the life of me, though, I can't figure out why...
Everyone knows that the food makes a party, and for the most part- everyone seemed to enjoy it:
Some chose the healthier fruit options:
Others did not:
Some enjoyed the lemonade:
But everyone seemed to really like the cupcakes:
Yes, I made all 6 dozen from scratch. Including the icing...
My favorite part of the decorations!

You can't really tell from the photos, but I didn't have a cupcake stand big enough for 60 cupcakes (though, really, who does?) so instead, I used big pieces of sawed logs as a cake stand. It was both free and easy to get rid of after the party!

After everyone was sufficiently sugared up for the week, we moved on to activities. As guests came into the shelter, they were encouraged to make "Noodle Necklace Nametags". A summer camp classic:

Some liked wearing theirs around:
I may have made hers a little big. She was lookin' a little like Flavor Flav.
Others did not:
I love this picture. I looks like the world is spinning around Jessa!
We had a "Build Your Own Trail Mix" station:
But someone, ahem, decided to just eat all the M&Ms out of hers:
We had face painting, courtesy of my mom, Gammy:
 Of course, we had the surrounding woods, which Zoe and Tovah chose to explore (in great detail!):
These girls clearly have never read Hansel and Gretel
What would a camping party be without a tent to try out!?!:
As it turns out, toddlers love tents:

Toddlers also love sidewalk chalk:

And they really, really love bubbles:
Toddler Crack in a light, airy form.
Like, really love them a whole lot:
In fact, I could have done nothing else for this party but put out a big tub of bubbles and it still would have been the best party ever (in their opinions):
Must. Get. Bubbles.
Finally it was present time, and despite the fact that we asked for March for Babies donations instead of toys, some people (ahem, grandparents and aunties alike) can't help themselves:
Bea was into opening gifts for a while:
And so were some of her friends:
But some were not:
And by far, the best gift Bea got (right now at least... her opinion changes by the second. Last night it was a bubble wand) was a new trike:
Which she drove around the picnic shelter like she was the Pope in the Popemobile, greeting her fans:
Bless you my child. Now, don't touch my Smore-on-a-stick.
And at the end of the day, it really was a great, marshmallow-binged party:
Who are this kid's parents!?!? She's a maniac!
Complete with a themed-gift bag for all her guests:
Did you really expect anything less?
Thank you again to everyone who came! Bea had a great time as evidenced by the fact she spent an hour and a half singing and kicking the wall in a sugary birthday coma last night before finally drifting off to sleep...
Birthday Party Details:
  • Invites: Ordered from Tiny Prints (and no, they didn't pay me to say that, or give me free invites!)
  • Lemonade Bottles: Empty Frappucino bottles, use Goof-off for the labels and dishwash!
  • Paper Straws: Ordered from Amazon.
  • Fonts for signs, cupcake toppers and nametags: Downloaded (for free!) from Logger and Traveling Typewriter
  • Cupcake Toppers: I made those, with the help of of fab friend Mary Frances, and her Cricut Machine and manual circle cutter and a few extra-long toothpicks
  • Food Disposables (plates, cups, etc.): Dollar Tree (no seriously, I got everything for under $37!)
  • Goody Bag Contents: Small water bottle, a granola bar, raisins, a small flashlight, a glow stick, a compass and a sticker book (which were all ordered from Oriental Trading)
  • Bea's shirt: Sooooo, I had ordered this amazing shirt from Etsy. And the lady who made it was so great about rushing it to me. But, I didn't realize that we had our old address on our PayPal file... so it was sent around the US Postal Service Mail Shuffle and didn't arrive in time (which was my fault). So, it will have to live in my memory; until I can get a photo of Bea in it and post it, of course.