playroom inspiration…

We are almost done with the kids’ new playroom! Well, Leo’s playroom, as Lucy isn’t really playing yet.  After much debate, we decided to turn our dining room into a playroom.  It’s not like we throw a lot of fancy dinner parties so the space will definitely get a lot more use.  The room is the first thing you see when you walk into our house, so I didn’t want it to look like a toy explosion. We wanted it to be a fun play space while still having a little bit of style and a lot of storage. I started a playroom Pinterest board about six months ago.  Here are some of my pins for the space.  Stay tuned in the coming weeks for photos of the new playroom.

playroom-moodboard1. La Mela print as seen on the cover of Martha Stewart magazine. 2 Land of Nod District Storage Bench 3. “Figure it Out” Banner from Schoolhouse Electric 4. Pottery Barn Kids Gray Mini Dot Teepee 5. Anthropologie Pom Tassel Curtain 6. West Elm Finn Sofa

 

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leo’s 3rd birthday party!

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I can’t believe that my baby is three years old!  This year, we decided to go all out of Leo’s birthday… partly because we are about to ruin his life as he knows in it a few weeks with the addition of his baby sister (I’m kidding- sort of…) but mostly because he deserved a killer party!  Leo has grown into such a kind and caring little boy this year- I wanted him to have a day that was all about his favorite things.

I asked Leo what kind of birthday party he wanted a few months ago and he said “superhero.” So after a few weeks of pinning and planning, I was ready to start crafting!  Leo then said he wanted an “animals” party, and that he wanted “horsies.”  Back to the drawing board.

Leo loves plastic animal figurines- he can spends hours arranging them in lines and rows all over the house. Over the past year, he has acquired quite a collection; he has everything from lions and tigers to elk and bison but he favors his horses.  Based on this info, I started to plan a farm themed party.

I know I have complained about this before, but you can really make yourself a crazy person trying to measure up to parties on Pinterest. This was the first barnyard themed party I stumbled upon and it put me in a panic. At 7 months pregnant would I be able to build a barn out of wood? Did Leo need life-size farm-animal figures at his party? Luckily, I wised up and realized that I couldn’t take on too much DIY in my current state where I feel like a rather large farm animal myself…

I had a giant piece of canvas left over from an unrealized craft project, so I enlisted some friends to help me turn it into a backdrop for “Leo’s farm” party. We spent a few hours painting and that was it for the DIY portion of the party!  I have to say it was well worth the effort and looked awesome!
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I used checked tablecloths, bandanas, straw hats and mini hay bales (who knew such a thing existed?) from Oriental Trading to set my farm picnic tables and the buffet. I scattered both with Leo’s favorite Schleich Farm Animal Set that also served as balloon weights and party favors for the kids.IMG_1730
I turned to Etsy for the projects I didn’t think I could take on myself and I could not have been happier with the AWESOME farm animal favor bags made by Hallie at Brass Pepper and the delicious cookies by TSCookies.
IMG_1717Look at that little barn cookie that says “Leo’s Farm,” how awesome is that?
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The gift bags were filled with a little Duplo farm animal set and Melissa and Doug farm animal paint with water book.  Are you stick of farm animals yet? I hope not…

My one moment of panic (I swear I had a small contraction) was when the petting zoo we hired for the party called to let me know that their van  had broken down were going to be “late.” Ahh! Kid’s birthday parties are only 2 hours long! How late were they going to be? About 30 minutes into the party the farm animals showed and walked into the party- single file right into their pen- I kid you not! They were adorable, all of the kids loved them. Well, except for Leo who was very curious and happy to stand outside the fence and look at them but did not want to pet a llama or ride a pony. I get it, the real thing is a little more intimidating than the plastic figuring version.
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The highlight of the party was the food- we had The Village Bakery make a farm themed buffet with fried chicken (fingers for the kids), cole slaw, pasta salad, potato salad and corn muffins.

When I asked Leo what kind of cake he wanted there was no question… CHOCOLATE! The desserts they made were stunning! They exceeded my wildest Pinterest expectations and Leo LOVED his horse birthday cake!
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After he blew out the candles we handed the kids forks and let them have at cake!
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Best birthday yet!

how to travel with a toddler…

So, after four flights and two layovers this past week I consider an expert at traveling with a toddler.  Just one toddler.   I already told Lenny that traveling with more than one child seems impossible and that if we have another one relatives just have to come to us. I saw some parents traveling with multiple children on this trip, and let me tell you if there was one of those safe baby drops in terminal C at the Houston airport if would be stuffed full of children…screaming children.

So let me tell you my secrets to traveling with one toddler. Here is the deal, forget all of your rules when you travel.  Do you limit screen time? Forget it! Do you shun refined sugar? Who cares? Are you avoiding nitrates? Preservatives? These rules do not apply at ten thousand feet!!!

If you have been doing any of the above things you are off to a great start. The more rules you have at home, the more excited your toddler will be when they get to break them in the sky. Before our trip I stocked up on all kinds of junk food that I would normally never give my kid. Flavor blasted goldfish, chocolate covered biscuits, chocolate chip granola bars, potato chips… whatever keeps your kid from screaming and kicking the seat in front of them.

IMG_0071Next, get an iPad, tablet, whatever.  TV is like crack for toddlers. They can’t get enough of it! Before our trip I downloaded an entire season of Yo Gabba Gabba and some Elmo. Leo watched a total of three hours on our second flight yesterday- but he wasn’t screaming so I consider it a win.

Also, relax a little have a Chardy.  You don’t like chardonnay? Too bad. Red wine is too much of a risk with turbulence and and you’re a mother, you can’t order a vodka soda or Jack and ginger of you will look like a drunk.  And enjoy some of those snacks… you deserve them.

IMG_0073And before I go, I have to thank the fine people at the Houston airport for this amazing invention that allows you to strap your child to the wall while you pee so that they don’t crawl out under the stall forcing you to run after them with your pants down. Not that it’s ever happened to me… They should have these on every wall in America. Not just in bathrooms.

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fml…

 

We had a lovely Father’s Day weekend filled with family, friends and food.  Leo slept through the night in HIS OWN BED several nights in the past week.  We were on top of the world…

We are no longer on top of the world as Leo has figured out how to climb out of his crib.  I knew this was coming as Leo has pretty crazy upper body strength for a toddler.  He just needed the right motivation, it turned out being parted from his beloved balloon (or “ahh-bloo,” has he calls it) was all that it took.  So I found him, laughing and playing in his room when he was supposed to be napping.  I put him back in his crib, and he did it again, rather quickly too.

So per the pediatrician and all of the “experts” on the internet we have to switch him to a toddler bed to keep him safe.  But as much as I don’t want my baby to get a concussion falling out of his crib, I am just not sure that I trust him to roam freely at night (even if it’s just in his room).  Firstly, he probably won’t go right to bed like he has for the past year or so… which Lenny and I have really enjoyed.  Secondly, I am going to be constantly worried about him doing crazy things at night with the stuff in his room so I will have to check on him every three minutes. And lastly, it’s only a matter of time before he will outsmart the baby gate on his door…

 

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Welcome to my hell…