22 August 2014

Sylas Says...

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I grouped all these together because they are all about Deacon and Sylas wanting more. Enjoy!

Sylas: I want my own Deacon. I want my own Deacon in my own belly. 

Me: Hmmm… that might be a tough one, baby.

On a separate occasion:

Me: …just as soon as I feed Deacon.

Sylas: I'll feed bebe Deacon for you, Mommy. I have boobies, they're just small!

On a separate occasion:

Sylas: I want a bebe Deacon AND a bebe sisa. (sister)

Me: You do?!

Sylas: YES! I have a bebe sisa in my belly. Her name is Olizia (Olivia). She will come out in 20 
minutes and I will feed her milkies. 

He says things like this on a regular basis. I love it!
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12 August 2014

Sylas's 'Thomas the Train' Third Birthday Party

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As you know, my little man just turned 3!! It's so hard to believe he is already 3 years old. I remember the night he was born like it was just yesterday. It' so bittersweet to watch this little guy grow up right before my eyes. Each new stage is so fun and exciting, but it also means the previous stage has come to an end. As I've said before, sometimes I just wish I could freeze time. 

This year for Sylas's 3rd Birthday Party, we knew we wanted to do something a little larger scale- something similar to his First Birthday Party. We knew being a new big brother of only 8 weeks would bring lots of changes, and we figured his birthday would be the perfect time to take the spotlight off the new baby for a moment and let the light shine on just him for a day… and that's just what we did! Of course, there had to be a theme, and what better theme than Sylas's current obsession- Thomas the Train! 

Here are a few a ton of pictures of the day. Enjoy!

Sylas was so incredibly excited that he couldn't even smile a "regular" smile the entire day. He was a laughing, giggling mess and we enjoyed every minute of it. He really was so happy, and it felt great to make his day special!

Believe it nor not, I think this the first picture we have with all 4 of us! 

As our guests arrived, this was one of the first decorations they saw. I actually made this balloon wreath for Sylas's First Birthday Party, so I just changed up the colors a bit for this party. Here is a tutorial on how I made the original balloon wreath three years ago.

We transformed our dining room to hold the food table, the dessert table, and the gifts area. This is where the majority of the decorations are.

Dessert Table:

I made this birthday banner and loved the way it turned out. I designed this one on my computer, so it's a little different than the one I made for Sy's First Birthday Party, but here is a tutorial for that banner to give you an idea of how simple it is.

I named each element/activity of the party with a track number. Everything was "Platform 3" since it's Sy's 3rd Birthday, and then the track numbers were different elements of the party. For instance, the Food was Track 1, the Dessert was Track 2, and the Gifts were Track 3. Activities were Tracks 4-8.

This was such an easy little thing to put together, yet I love the way it turned out. My in-laws had the over sized Thomas, and then I added the "log car" and the "coal car." I got the boxes at Target and just added the wheels, which I made from black scrapbook paper. 

I initially only planned on having one cupcake tower, but once I planned out the exact set up of the table, I decided two would be cool and it would give the table a different look than the one at Sy's First Birthday Party. I made the towers the same way I made the one for his first birthday, and you can see that tutorial here. I also made the cupcake toppers the same way as last time, and that tutorial is here. 

To drink, we had a lemonade in the "Water Tower" and "Diesel Fuel" (soda). We also had water and beer and that sign said "Chugga Chugga" ;)

For food we enjoyed chicken, shrimp, and veggie kabobs, chicken salad croissants, fruit, and orzo salad. I also had a separate table set up in the kitchen with veggies, chips and salsa, and pita chips and hummus. For the kiddos, we served "Farmer McColls Pigs in a Blanket," "Choo Choo Chicken" (chicken nuggets), and "Station House Sandwiches" (PB&J cut into shapes with a cookie cutter).

I made the food and dessert labels in a similar way to how I made them for Sy's First Birthday Party, and you can find that tutorial here.

On our console table in the foyer, I set up a little display of the birthday invitation as well as Sylas's Birthday Book for all the guests to sign. The Birthday Book is a tradition I started this year. It holds an "Interview with Sylas" as well as 2 birthday pictures and all the guest's special notes. I will write a separate post with the details of the book later this week. 

Track 3 - Gifts!

This birthday banner is actually the very first decoration I made for the party and it got all my creative juices flowing! I made the entire banner out of scrapbook paper, and it was pretty easy. The hardest part was the Thomas on either end of the banner, but once I made the first one, I had a template for the second one! The frame on the left is the Thomas theme song, and the picture of Sylas is from his first birthday. 

This is a banner I found at Party City. I had my husband hang it above our front door. It looked awesome up so high. 

And what would a party be without wonderful guests to celebrate with?

Birthday Boy with Nonna, Poppy, Uncle Brian, and Daddy. (This is my husbands family.)

Birthday Boy with Aunt Patra (my sister), Uncle Joe, Collin, and Caley

Birthday Boy with Uncle Brian (Dan's Brother)

Birthday Boy with his Great Uncle Rob, Great Aunt Nancy, Hayden, and Emily (My husbands Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins)

Birthday Boy with "Miss Tiff" (Our great friend, Tiffany)

The next three adorable little guests are Sylas's best buds from our playgroup- "The Little Pickles"

Birthday Boy with the Taylor's (Our friends and neighbors)

Birthday Boy with The Matterface's

Birthday Boy with The Niblett's

We had a few activities for the kids to do rather than just have a ton of Sylas's toys out in the living room. I did have a few small things out, but most of the toys stayed upstairs in the playroom. 

Like I said earlier, Tracks 1-3 were "Good Eats," "Dessert," and "Gifts."

Track 4 - Pin the Smoke Stack on Thomas

The kids had a lot of fun with this. I didn't blindfold them because I think they are just a tad too young for that. I didn't want tears, just laughs and good times!

Track 5 - Red Light/Green Light

This activity was just a simple box that I turned into Thomas and train tracks that I laid in our foyer with the help of hubby and our friend, Tifffany. (I thought the tracks looked so cool, and we got lots of compliments on them!) The tracks were simply made from laying black electrical tape. 

I figured the kids could play Red Light/Green Light or just run up and down the tracks "choo choo-ing" with the Thomas box.

Track 6 - Thomas Tattoos

I don't really have pictures of this. :( It's unfortunate, because the kids really loved the tattoos. Sylas wore his for an entire week and showed it to everyone!

Track 7 - Coloring Station

I printed up some Thomas coloring pages, set out new crayons and Voila! The kids loved it!

Track 8 - Trains! 

Would it be a Thomas the Train party if we didn't have the tracks set up with tons of trains to play with??

Other than the planned activities, we handed out kazoos and blowouts and of course, the kids loved those!

After lots of good food and games, it was finally time to sing "Happy Birthday!" Just look at Sy checking out his cupcake and licking his lips! I'm such an overly emotional person, and it took a lot of will power not to cry when we sang to him. There were tears, but they were wiped away quickly and no one knew. Whew! I didn't want people thinking I am ridiculous.

And after cupcakes… it was finally time to open gifts! Sylas was so excited! I have to say, though, that I was so incredibly proud of him. For weeks, he was very excited about his birthday, and as the anticipation grew, so did the knowledge and understanding that people would most likely bring a gift. He began to get so excited about the gifts that he would say things like "I'm gonna say 'That's MINE!' or 'I not let my buddies touch my gifts.'" I was not a fan of this attitude…

Leading up to the party I talked with him about it a lot. One thing we did was purposely let Sylas make the goody bags so that he would understand that he had gifts to give out as well. The morning of his party I talked to him a lot about how to be humble, and accept gifts graciously. I told him that he needed to be kind and grateful. I explained what it meant to be thankful and told him that sharing new things would be the most fun for everyone. 

Well…. did he ever impress me beyond expectation!! He was so kind, and so thoughtful when opening his gifts. I explained to him that reading the card first was important, so he dug around looking for the cards first. For one of the first gifts, the little girl and boy who got him the gift were in the other room. Amongst his excitement, Sylas paused, ran into the other room yelling their names and said "Come on, come on. I gonna open your present!" Wow. I was impressed. In a time when it was easy to get caught up in the excitement, he knew that to be truly thankful, it would be nice if they could actually see him open the gift. Then, as you can see in the pictures below, he gave each child a hug after opening their gift and said "Thank you!"

Of course, as it went on, it got chaotic and harder for me to keep track of who gave what, but overall, I was so happy with how Sylas reacted to so much attention and so many gifts. 

After Sylas opened his gifts, I had him personally hand out each goody bag. Like I said, I had Sylas assemble these, and he understood that this was his gift to his guests. He was very excited to hand them out and see his friends react. Giving truly is better than receiving. 

Here are just a couple pictures of Sylas handing out the goody bags. 

Well… that just about sums up Sylas's Third Birthday Party. I'm happy to say it was a huge success. It seemed like everyone had a really great time, and we know Sylas did!

Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate and thank you to those who helped it all come together- my in-laws for going grocery shopping for us so I didn't have to go to the store with a 2 year old and a newborn and for letting us borrow various party essentials, Tiffany and my sister, Patra, for day before and day-of set-up and food prep, Collin, Caley, and Joe for keeping Sylas entertained so we could set-up, and the Taylor's for extra fridge space!! 
We couldn't have done it without your help! We love you all.

Happy Birthday, Sylas! I hope this was a day you'll never forget (all these pictures will make sure of that!) You are so special and wonderful and we love you to the moon and back!

If you have any questions about any of the DIY elements, feel free to leave a comment or email me! 

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09 August 2014

Look Alikes

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When I posted Deacon's 2 month milestones, I mentioned that I have decided who I think he looks like. After more than 2 months of staring at this sweet baby boy, I have decided to go with my gut feeling that he looks like my dad, which I mentioned in his 1 month milestones. My brother and I look just like my dad, and I don't have many baby pictures of my dad (in fact there is one in particular that I'm looking for that I can. not. find.) so I have decided to do some side by side pictures of me and my brother as well as Deacon and my brother.

This post comes to you on a very special day, as it is my brother's birthday! Unfortunately, my brother passed away when I was just 4 years old. For that reason in particular, it means a lot to me that Deacon looks like him (in my opinion). RIP sweet brother. I miss you more and more the older I get. I think of you nearly every single day. I love you very much.  

This is my brother, Jimmy, on the left in early 1972 (less than 1 year old) and Deacon is on the right at 2 months old (July 2014). Jimmy is pictured here with his mom (we have different moms, but same dad and are technically 1/2 brother and sister, but I was never really one for technicalities).

On the left is my brother, Jimmy, at age 3 in 1974 and I am on the right at age 1 (almost 2) in 1987. Don't we look so similar? In my Dad's words: "I had twins with to different wives! Where's Jerry Springer when ya need him?" haha Good one, Daddy-O!

Below are baby pictures of me and Deacon. I am on the left at a few months old and Deacon on the right at 2 months old. 

Here is a photo of my brother and me in 1986 for my Christening.

This is my favorite picture of my brother, Jimmy. I have it sitting on the ledge above my kitchen sink. He's always there with me when I'm doing dishes :)

And finally, this is my all time favorite picture of my Dad and brother together. Just look at my Dad's face. That smile is contagious… happiness in it's truest form.

So, there ya have it.. my humble opinion of who Deacon looks like. What do you think? Do you agree or think I am way off? It will be interesting to see what/who he looks like as he gets older. Have a great weekend, y'all!

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